Life is about making choices and sometimes these choices appear to be difficult. This isn’t the mundane “should I wear the red dress or the yellow one?” These are the choices that actually call each individual to stand for something and sometimes it appears that the reward for bending a rule is worth more than it is.

Let’s look at Mitt Romney and the tax documents by Bain Capital, a firm founded by Romney. Mitt and the Missus claim that they aren’t responsible for any tax strategies that were utilized because their assets are managed on a blind basis.

Their defense is all the investment decisions were made by a trustee. On the face of that, it might sound reasonable, but the truth is we are all responsible for the partners, employees, etc. that we hire. It is up to each one of us to be clear on our guiding values and communicate that to our team. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Essentially Mitt is claiming that he’s a victim. Whenever someone uses the word ‘because’, they are refusing any responsibility and putting the blame on someone else. Does Mitt strike you as a victim?

We are all human and therefore that means that we’ve all made decisions or done things that as we grow in awareness we aren’t proud of and perhaps wished we haddone something different. At the time, it seemed like a good idea and hey, who’s going to know. Of course, we are forgetting that we’re going to know that we compromised ourselves for whatever the ‘reward’ was.

I certainly have things and events in my past that I wouldn’t want held up to public scrutiny but if they were, then the best way forward is to own it. So even if he had said, “that’s who I was then, but I’m different now and I see the wrong of my ways”; it would be understandable.

This is where Mitt lets himself down along the rest of us. He actually has an opportunity to be a true and authentic leader by saying the truth. Let just say what he said is truth, but stated the truth with ownership. It would come out as something to this effect:

My tax strategies and investment decisions are my responsibility and even if someone else carries out those duties, I am ultimately responsibility for the outcomes. I was wrong and I’ve grown from there.

Here’s what Mitt seems to be missing. We want a leader that we can trust and believe will do their best and if they do or direct something that they later realize was a mistake, they will step up and own it. Take full responsibility for their actions; not play the blame game.
Whoever is the President, they will have many people acting with authority to carry out the government duties. We need to know the President accepts full responsibility for what he has ordered, be it directly or indirectly, and not try to hide behind that someone else.

But here’s the thing. Running America is a different. We aren’t talking about cheating the American government out of a few bucks. We’re talking about making and taking full responsibility for the big decisions that impact the lives, the future and the reputation of this country. We need a leader that’s willing to stand up to that, warts and all, and do the best that they can. No excuses!

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