A Listening Leadership

I’ve been wondering how to write this without being overly partisan or blatantly trumpeting one direction or another. 

Today the answer came to me.  Write on my principles.  Write on my values.  Tonight I write from my heart and hopefully I’ll make my point clearly and openly, separate and apart from my leadership vote.

We, the Alberta Party, are moving towards our next big decision this weekend.  We collectively will be choosing a leader who will represent us, possibly define us, and must guide us through good stewardship of our energy, our focus, our efforts.

I have been working with Team Tammy Maloney and support her for her bid for leadership.  This entry is more fundamental than who I’m voting for.  This entry is about the core of what makes the Alberta Party to me, why I support the Alberta Party, and why I will support and work with whichever of the four candidates we elect on Saturday.

I ask - no, I exhort - each and every member of the Alberta Party who is going to vote for a leadership candidate this weekend to take just a few moments and to wipe the slate clean.  I’m not asking you to throw away all the thought you’ve already put into your decision making.  I’m asking you to set everything aside just long enough to ensure that you and every single member of the Alberta Party perform the most important function that each and every Alberta Party member has.

I plead for you to listen.

This is a special weekend.  We are not going to listen to other average Albertans we meet.  You and I have a special responsibility to listen to four particular Albertans.  We ought to do so with an open mind and genuinely hear what they have to say.  This is our chance to ask them the questions we would like to have answered.  It is our chance to hear them fully explain their values to us and to evaluate how they align with our own.  It is our chance to evaluate how we feel their values align with our collective values as our party.

If you’ve already decided on a candidate, that’s wonderful!  Please be sure to listen to all four with an open mind and an open heart.  I’m not trying to change your mind, I want to ensure that you are making an informed choice for the very best of reasons.

Lee, Tammy, Randy and Glenn are four very different, very talented, very special, very capable and very formidable people.  They all bring individual strengths and talents and they all have a voice worth listening to and truly hearing.  Be attentive to them all.  They all have a role in creating a better Alberta.  They all have a component of their personalities that we, as the Alberta Party, are going to need to channel if we are to create a successful government.

The Alberta Party is a party of listeners - good listeners who try to create a consensus from what Albertans want and need.  We cannot be true to our values as a party if we stop listening to each other.  We will make a decision and it will be decisive, but we will do so on the basis of an open mind and sound reasoning.

The Alberta Party is the party who will do things differently from other parties.  We need to demonstrate how we will do so by collectively choosing a leader for all the right reasons.  We want to make our decision based upon consensus building, rational debate and the clear goals and directions which are presented to us.

We need The Big Listen to become The Big Action.  Our values and our principles are absolute and unyielding - they are the values and the principles of Albertans.  The plan of action needs to be charted and we shall enthusiastically embark upon the change that Albertans want, deserve and demand.

Pay attention to the qualities where each candidate excels.  Their true strength lies in what traits they bring to the table.  We, the membership, will fill in the details through our support, work ethic, and indeed our listening skills.

We shall set the standard by defining our leader on the traits that we admire, value and respect!  We fervently hope that the other parties follow our lead and select good leadership for the best reasons.

We shall remember that the decision is made by those who show up.  We will make our choices boldly knowing that we have lived up to our responsibility to choose wisely.  We shall remember that 60 percent of Albertans did not choose to vote in the last election and it is our most solemn of duties to reach out to them, discover what has created such disinterest and disenfranchisement.  We must do our best to try to represent them in our selection by choosing as wisely as possible and to consider their interests as much as we are able.

We shall not select a person to hold above ourselves, we shall select a leader who will best represent us all.

Please, listen to them all attentively to ensure your decision has been made with full consideration.  Choose the person that you feel best represents you, your party and your province.  Listen with your heart and choose well.  The real work begins again on Sunday.