Our guiding principles cover bias, common purpose, problem-solving, priority setting, accountability, and the search for truth.
1. Bias is a starting point for discussion, not a reason to dismiss a disagreeable point of view.
Our knowledge and what we understand of the world are necessarily shaped by our personal experiences and the people we listen to – this is our bias. When we sift through observable evidence in trying to understand a problem or develop a solution, we increase our chances for success if we acknowledge our own biases and limits of knowledge as well as those of the people who disagree with us.
2. Common purpose, not divisive speech or distortion and denial of facts, is what makes America great.
A laser-like focus on systemic problems and problem-solving can limit the influence of partisan distractions, distortions, and obfuscations that populate the headline-driven 24/7 news stream. When given the opportunity, Americans have proven to be pragmatic problem-solvers and innovators generally not beholden to political, religious, or other ideologies. These characteristics of the independent pioneer are not just built into our mythology – they are a part of our history.
3. Coming together to solve the problems of American society – and then agreeing to the right balance of solutions – is ever a work in progress.
There is no single model for advancing the interests of the country; the beauty of our form of democratic capitalism is the organic nature of our problem-solving capacity. Businesses, governments, advocacy groups, and other organizations often collide in the messiness of the historical record, but from those collisions we often find the resolve to create new models to solve unfamiliar problems.
4. Public discussion of systemic problems requires that we maintain a clear sense of priorities.
Most, if not all, problems are relatively simple to explain and understand and solve when we remain focused on the one problem. Too often, efforts to understand discussions around a problem become confused and “complexed” because there are unspoken but conflicting priorities at play. Clarifying and articulating these priorities and then determining how best to integrate and balance them is paramount for advancing solutions that most effectively sustain and strengthen our American society.
5. We are all citizen CEOs, and we need to start holding ourselves and each other accountable.
In our democracy, we are citizen CEOs – voters who choose the people who represent us in government, and entrepreneurs, business executives, and workers who decide to start, run, and work in the companies that support our communities. We need to hold each other accountable when our elected officials fail to improve the systems designed to protect us against current threats and our business executives are unable to sustain us through future economic change. We need to make change when any of them through their actions or inactions cause harm to our communities that could have been avoided. If we don’t vote, change our buying habits, and take other actions to express the needs of our communities, then we are not doing our jobs.
6. The truth is out there awaiting collection and connection.
The volume of noise in the infosphere challenges our ability to keep up with the vast amounts of real knowledge being produced. It is essential for us as citizen CEOs to be well-informed about the systemic problems that threaten the sustainability of our society so that we can connect the dots and make the most effective decisions possible.
The American Leader sifts through the media stream to collect the best available knowledge, then connects the dots to help you better understand the deeper currents shaping our lives and how people are striving to alter those currents for the common good.