hard basics

A Fourth of July Perspective: Are Americans Doing the Hard Basics?

On this day of celebration for the birth of our country I unapologetically believe to be the greatest in the world, I have to ask, are we still doing the “hard basics” as Americans? Lately I don’t think so.

Culture, in all its forms and nuance, is essentially made up of the things we do, not the labels we put on them. To identify a culture, we must look at those things objectively, for better or for worse.

These days I feel like the things America and Americans are doing represent the actions of a petulant child. This is what the American culture has become.

We speak our opinion. But we speak our opinion with the attitude that our opinion is fact, not opinion. We shout over, name call, and label in the worst and most damaging way those who have the temerity to disagree with us. We point out and focus on the negative with no regard to anything positive with the sole purpose to demean, belittle, and negatively label those we disagree with.

We stubbornly stand our ground to the figurative death in spite of the fact that we may have been wrong or misguided about what we said, did, or thought.

Right now, this is our culture. These are the things America and Americans are doing.

We need to get back to doing the “hard basics” to reestablish our proud American culture.

It is not hard to express your opinion loudly. The hard thing is to express your opinion in a tone and manner that is respectful to those who will disagree with you. When we do this, we exponentially increase the chance that people may honestly listen to and consider what we are saying. The hard basics pay off!

It is not hard to shout down, name call, label, or belittle someone you disagree with. The hard thing is to listen to someone with whom you disagree with objectivity, patience, and maturity. When we do this, we do not paint ourselves in a corner. We give ourselves an opportunity to think, reflect, and come back later in good conscience with relationships intact. The hard basics pay off!

It is not hard to look at past indiscretions and stay stuck in the past, all the while criticizing, demeaning, and labeling those we disagree with. The hard thing is to recognize past indiscretions objectively, seek to understand and acknowledge progress made since those indiscretions, and move in a positive and constructive direction for improvement. When we do this, we remember the past, but do not get hopelessly stuck in the past. The hard basics pay off!

These are the hard basics America is not doing and it is redefining, in the worst way, who we are as Americans.

On this day of celebration for the birth of our country let us try, starting now, to do the hard basics that will restore and create the culture we should all strive for… a great American culture!

Errol Doebler is the founder of Ice Cold Leader, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Ice Cold Leader to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coachingkeynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.

Ice Cold Leader recently launched the Ice Cold Leader Course, a self-paced virtual learning program that will teach you Errol’s leadership process born from combat but applicable to both the boardroom and the kitchen table. Enjoy 20% off the Online Academy from July 1st-July 5th using code HBDAmerica at checkout! Click here to enroll.

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