Why does the health of leaders matter?
Leaders are role models for large population groups and they make decisions that impact all of us. And when beloved leaders lose their health or lives, the loss is felt by many - far beyond their families.
It's no wonder that the Sacramento Heart Center described public service as a stressful, unhealthy occupation, leading to heart disease and other health problems. Indeed, a number of elected leaders have suffered from addictions and heart disease. Some very beloved constructive visionary leaders did not survive their terms in office; they lost their lives while in service to us.
Public service should not mean private suffering.
What if we brought public health practices into the public hearing process, which is watched by community members on public access television?
What if elected leaders were introduced to healthy meeting processes, conscious nonviolent communication, mindfulness meditation, HeartMath Institute biofeedback training for heart-mind coherence and Positive Psychology?
What if new elected leaders had access to retired or 'termed out' elected officials who could mentor them during the tough times?
We spent the past three years donating our time to develop a new program - the first of its kind in the country- with all these elements: the Evergreen Leaders Project!
We invite you to be part of our exciting new movement to transform political life into a constructive democratic process that works for all.
Click here to see what we offer: Services for Leaders
Participation in democracy requires courage on the part of citizens as well as elected officials. It is not comfortable for most citizens to stand at podiums and address a group of elected officials in front of live audiences in the public hearing room and on public access television. Smiling, respectful, receptive elected leaders who listen with their hearts and speak gently help to ease the nervousness of public citizens.
Likewise, citizens have a responsibility to treat elected officials respectfully. There is never a reason for a citizen to take their anger or frustration out on an elected leader during a public hearing. Shouting, interrupting, profanity, bullying, blaming, harassing, condemning, judging, stereotyping or other disruptive behaviors do not lead to constructive long term solutions. Here is a great article on maintaining civility in public meetings: http://www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/tips_for_promoting_civility_in_public_meetings_1.pdf.
The current Presidential Candidates’ campaigns are leaving the public exhausted and discouraged by the lack of civility, diplomacy, tact and considerate communication skills.
Leaders have always been models that shape our culture and way of life. Broadcast print, digital and social media amplify the influences of leaders.
For example, an entire generation of ‘baby boomers’ were impacted by the late President John F. Kennedy when he said on national television: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Millions of children heard that and became altruistic volunteers during their adult lives.
To help make public service a kinder gentler process for all, the following links provide a gold mine of resources on conscious, compassionate, nonviolent communication.
Thom Bond on Compassionate Communication:
Marshall Rosenberg on Nonviolent Communication:
Nicki Kashtan on Core commitments to improving our relationships with compassionate communication:
Evergreen Leaders Project
P.O. Box 5595
Novato, CA 94948
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Evergreen Leaders Project is a non-political, non-lobbying, non-partisan, non-profit project. We exist to make democracy a healthier, more constructive and civil process for all.