I’m not going to get political with this post, but suffice it to say that, on November 7th, the nation decided it was time to go a different direction, and later on the 8th, the nation learned that, indeed, both houses of Congress had gone the Democratic way.

This was a major turnaround of our government, reminiscent of what happened back in 1994, but with a major difference that is the lesson I write about today.  Back in 1994, President Clinton hadn’t even made it halfway through his first term when the nation went the other direction; this time around, President Bush was in the middle of his second term when change occurred.  President Clinton learned something that President Bush didn’t learn, and now we’ll get to see if he will learn, and follow, the lesson he forgot.

What he forgot was that one has to lead many people by working with them, not by bullying, micromanaging, or subterfuge.  He forgot that, when he was working with a different majority party in his own state as governor, he forged relationships in order to get things done, and did it as effectively as possible.

As president, he has never had to worry about trying to forge those same kinds of relationships because his party was in power.  The thing about power is that sometimes you start believing you can do any thing at any time to any one; that’s when leaders can get into trouble.   Those who believe as you do may help you force things upon those who don’t fully agree, but when you force too many people too many times, it can come back at you in ways you can only imagine.

In this case, the President didn’t have to imagine anything; it was thrown in his face that an overwhelming majority of the populace wasn’t happy with his management style; in essence, he had a mutiny, because the people who went against him weren’t only the people who were against him before; he alienated those who had been in his corner, pretty much through thick and thin.

He learned another lesson also; you never really know who your friends are when you’re in power and abuse it.  When he was ready to try to help, many decided they didn’t want his help.  His own friends, or employees in this regard, decided to distance themselves from him; what a slap in the face.  Disrespect comes when your employees don’t believe in you anymore, and are ready to jump ship and try things on their own.

No manager, director, or leader of any kind can succeed in an environment like that, and not only did the President learn that, but many of his employees learned it also, and are suddenly out of jobs.  In the afternoon of the 8th, the day after, the President conceded that maybe he hadn’t been as conciliatory as he should have been, but that he’s willing to try to make amends and work with the new power structure.  Maybe some things will be passed in the spirit of cooperation, and the company we call our country will move on to its ultimate greatness.

Or not.  I guess we’ll see soon enough if there is a chance for something positive to come out of all of this.  I just hope we don’t really have to wait 8 years for it.  This country needs its elected leaders to be just that; leaders.