What is the role of leadership

Most of you never got to hear this speech and as the opportunities to present it are waning. So instead, those of us at the Press would like to present it to you in this way. This became part of our archives in 2011 with our creation. 

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“I told a story while I was the liturgist at Lambuth Memorial Methodist Church one Sunday about a college professor, an avowed atheist, who was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated that there is no God, the expression, “One Nation Under God“, was unconstitutional, and further, he was going to prove there is no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted:

“God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you 15 minutes.”

The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying:

“Here I am, God. I’m still waiting.”

His countdown got down to the last couple of minutes when a young Marine just released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him head over teacups from his lofty platform. The professor was out cold!

The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent.

Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front row. When he regained his senses and could speak he yelled:

“What’s the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The young man simply stated:

“God was busy. He sent me.”  

Of course I got a laugh but I think my point was overlooked…. it went swoosh right over their heads.

Okay, my point was not as obvious as I had thought. Most viewed it as just a story without the overtones or symbolism.

Why the choice of a marine… why a college professor as the antagonist… why the inclusion of an attempt to receive Gods wrath?

I am guessing that is my role in all of this…..  I am the guy with the two by four in his hand reminding all of us what it means to be a representative.

Now my opponent made that statement “Our elected officials are elected to serve and not lead.” And I sorely disagree with that point of view politically.

Our position is to lead, in every way we can.

The marine could have been anyone, but story might not have garnered your attention. You see, leadership takes “guts“. The guts to stand up for a principle that you know is detrimental to everyone in the city or county or state. The character to stand up for those very principals that you and many others believe in without comprising or cutting corners. A true leader has the ability to “take it” when the going gets rough.

Real leaders have to face up to a new problem all the time. Indeed, many successful leaders invite difficulties just for the sheer joy of coping with them. The genuine leader approaches each day with a sort of “joy of battle“.

Leadership means sticking your neck out in support of something, which you think is worth trying. It means loyalty to your conviction.

A leader keeps promises. They keep their promises to their associates as meticulously as those made to their supporters. They keep promises made to themselves, which are the hardest to keep.

A leader has a genuine and sympathetic interest in and a respect for, people as individuals.

So I disagreed with my opponent in most every way. Leadership, integrity, courage and honesty are the most important issues in this race.  

May God be in your heart giving you peace all your days.

Frank Neudecker

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