People are so displeased with Donald Trump that they do not consider him their president, as it goes, “Not My President.” Their mission, whether it’s criminal justice reform or some other social reform is bigger than themselves, bigger than politics. Yet, they do not represent it as such. They’re not staying true to the mission. They allow bad feelings to get in the way of them sitting down at the table with others to work problems and find solutions. They are exercising leadership characteristics that are not desirable or worth emulating. Jim Brown role modeled leadership when he sat down with president elect Donald Trump by putting the mission above politics, sharing his vision, and having hope that the next president will contribute to help solve community problems.
It probably left a bad taste in a few mouths when it was reported that Jim Brown, the NFL Hall of Famer, met with President elect Donald Trump in a private meeting on December 13th. But for Jim Brown, a bad taste only comes when an opportunity to further the mission is lost. For him, that mission is furthering Amer-I-Can, an organization that, “help enable individuals to meet their academic potential, to conform their behavior to acceptable society standards, and to improve the quality of their lives by equipping them with the critical life management skills to confidently and successfully contribute to society.” In his eyes, the mission is bigger than himself, bigger than politics. Jim Brown is role modeling leadership. Leaders who act contrary by allowing politics to affect the mission should be shown the door swiftly.
Sitting down in the room with high profile officials and leaders like Bill Gates to share a vision for underserved communities not only takes confidence in the mission being represented but also requires throwing away presuppositions about individuals or groups based on their race, economic, and/or public life actions including past statements. The willingness to want to influence all walks of life for the cause of the mission is a sign of a great leader. Jim Brown is being that leader.
Having the hope that the next president of the United States and his cabinet will buy into the mission and provide support is key. Hope drives all other points; the ability to place the mission above self and politics, and the confidence to share with different walks of life to further the cause. In meeting with Donald Trump, Jim Brown displayed hope.
Jim Brown represented when he stayed focused on his mission, the mission that seeks to further progress in underserved communities, by realizing that the cause is greater than himself. This allowed him to sit down at the table of those who may appear or be an unlikely ally. He represents what African American leadership should look like in the 21st century.
The featured image taken from http://www.theundefeated.com