10 Leadership Insights from Detroit’s 2016 Republican Debate

By March 7, 2016June 10th, 2020No Comments

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend the Republican debate in Detroit where Governor John Kasich, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump bantered, bickered and presented their cases for becoming President of the United States.

Republic DebateBefore we go any further, my gag reflex is quite sensitive when offered politics.  I mean, “come on!”…..we’re asking that millions of people bundle themselves into groups of people based on values, economic and foreign policy.  And the reality is that the potential candidates stump for 2 years to win a job for 4 years that on day one of, 49% of the people they represent disagree with them on many of the major issues?

But — offered the opportunity to take in a taste of American history and a Barnum Bailey circus at the same time….and to see influencers and communicators of this caliber, let’s do it!

Entertaining? Check.

Uncomfortable? Check.

Inspiring? Check.

BW3s beforehand? Check.

So here they are: 10 things that stood out in last week’s debate in Detroit:

10. Leadership…..isn’t…….about……the leader. It’s about the people and the vision.

9. We mustn’t wait to start uniting people – might we look around… and start now.

8. Leadership is not about telling people what to do — but rather inspiring and equipping people to become all they were created to be… and accomplish the incredible together.

7. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  (If you’ll allow me to put values aside for this point.)  It took 90 minutes to get a couple thousand people in the doors of the theater…..deporting 11,000,000 people isn’t sensible.

6. Spend more time focused on what needs to be done than complaining about what’s broken.  As spoken by Governor John Kasich:

“I try to focus in my faith on the dos and I think the don’ts will take care of themselves once I get the dos right, which is humility, and loving my enemy, and caring for my neighbor.”

5. I could have just as easily been born into a family or situation that fostered an entirely alternative set of values and beliefs than those that I carry today.

4. As leaders, what’s in our hearts will come out. It can be bottled for a season but eventually, when put under pressure or simply over the marathon of life…..what we believe and value “off the record” will eventually be exposed.

3. There seems to be an inverse relationship between volume and wisdom. Words are powerful — as shouting goes up, hearing goes down.

2. Diminishing others isn’t pretty to watch.  Everyone’s hands get smaller when we attack other people.

1. Love continues to be best every time.

So as we carry on in the political season, might we learn from those before us and seek to bring about a better reality for those around us.


Josh Block

Josh Block

Josh Block is a Michigan native, husband, father of two, speaker, company president, and leadership advocate. He believes that healthy leaders, thriving teams and fulfilling work carry remarkable power to transform people and families.

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