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Blogs Revisited: Consensus=Failure

In lieu of The Marco Minute's one year anniversary I will be re posting several of my favorite blogs.  Today I will post a blog titled, Consensus = Failure.  

The inspiration for re posting this blog came in light of the recent events surrounding the looming government shutdown.   Unfortunately the word "consensus"today has become a catchword for purposeless leadership, and political correctness; getting along just to get along...

I believe any great leader is a molder of consensus not the follower of one.  It is important to note that I am in no way advocating a rigid, unbending belief system which only sees its way at the exclusion of others. What I am saying instead is that a true consensus should be obtained only from a position of moral strength not just for the sake of getting along and being nice. 

I posted this blog on August 17, 2010

"To me consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes...What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner, "I stood for consensus" - Margaret Thatcher


I found this quote in the marvelous leadership book by John C. Maxwell titled,  "The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader." The main focus of the chapter dealt with the issue of security and how good leaders provide that for their followers.

This quote takes on I believe a greater importance today since the fashionable ethos of our society goes something like this, "lets try to agree with as many people as possible because through agreement there is always harmony", or "Let us never impose our views and beliefs on others" Pope Benedict correctly called this destructive tendency, "the dictatorship of relativism" This subtle, pernicious dictatorship is taking hold of the Western World. I can attest to this disturbing trend during my college tenure. In almost all of my classes we were indoctrinated to be more diverse, more understanding or my favorite term, "culturally sensitive". The more diverse and complex you were in your answers the better. The more "eclectic" you were deemed by your professors the better your chances for success in the real world. It was an incredibly hostile, politically correct atmosphere, God forbid you would disagree or support a more simpler, more objective approach, you could be ostracized, and labeled as "intolerant" or "insensitive".

So what has all this academic and cultural brainwashing done? It has created a culture of non leaders, permanent teenagers, too scared, or indifferent to take a stand or belief on something. Why take this risk when there is no objective truth? The unfortunate consequence of this cultural brainwashing is that too few people are stepping up to the plate; and the consequences of this forfeiture is ruining our country, church, and world. So where do you stand on this issue are you a molder of consensus? Or someone who needs the approval, false validation "consensus" of others?

A good friend of mine just recently told me about his struggles in his parish's "Pre Cana" program. The Pre Cana program is a mandatory marriage preparation program that is offered to anyone who wants to wed in the Catholic Church. My friend is a true Catholic Christian who lives the gospel and has a passion for helping other couples seeking marriage. Thankfully my friend is not a consensus seeker, but this true leadership quality is not appreciated by the other members of the planning committee who are more concerned about imposing their own erroneous ideas and reaching a consensus than on faithfully adhering to the well developed tenets of the program. These phony, consensus seekers are more content to sip coffee and stale cake than to truly lead this vital ministry. I applaud the courage of my friend; thankfully he is culturally tone deaf to this "dictatorship of relativism". My friend is a leader, something that our society I am afraid does not possess too much of.

A true leader is secure in his vision. He trusts, he hopes, he believes. His belief is formed inwardly, in his core through the many experiences of his life. These experiences include all the setbacks, false starts, let downs, triumphs, and victories. His core is thus shaped by an instinct, a gut feeling, a conscience that is naturally steeped in objective truth. This objective truth is of course Christ, the more one adheres to Christ, the more truthful one will become. A leader is ultimately a merchant of truth, leading always, with strength, humility and vision not by the fleeting whims of never ending consensus building.

A true leader leads its that simple.

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