Political drama inspires me. It always has. I know every line of Hamilton, but likely more concerning is that I know almost every line from every single episode of The West Wing. It is possible I have spent too much of my life watching television and movies.
I was struck this week by a line in the Hamilton song “Non-Stop.” Alexander is trying to convince Aaron Burr to help him write The Federalist Papers, but Burr says, “The Constitution is a mess.”
The response is what got my attention. “So it needs some amendments…we have to start somewhere.”
I think there is a belief that leaders somehow have all the answers. Of course that is not true. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that people have studied and reflected and gained experiences to help them lead, but leadership in itself does not infuse you with magical powers. In most cases, leaders are just the ones who are willing to start somewhere.
And we all get it wrong sometimes…that’s why we need amendments.
Our job, all of our jobs, is to do our best with what we know at the time. It is also our job though to learn more and to do better. Leaders are learners. When we know better, we do better.
Of course Aaron Sorkin knows this too. In one of my favorite scenes of The West Wing, when discussing one of the most long-standing issues in the world, Leo says to Sam, “You’re one of the big minds of your generation. Have you thought of anything yet?”
Sam says, “No.” But he adds, “You know I’m not done thinking, right?”
As you start a new week, look for places where you can lead. Choose to be the one who is willing to start somewhere.