Lilly’s Leadership

In this never-ending political season, we get treated to a steady diet of what I call “three B’s,” bombast, bloviation and BS. Prevarication, empty promises and false bravado are spewed daily by our illustrious candidates for President of the United States. You would think that the two individuals who have been selected to run for the most powerful position in the world would know and do better. Alas, they do not.

Maybe they can learn from a 19 year old.

Lilly King is the current Olympic swimmer engaged in a controversy over her remarks about Russian competitor Yulia Efimova. After winning their respective semi-finals in the 100 meter breaststroke at the Olympics in Rio, they engaged in a finger wagging contest, initiated after Lilly raised her finger in her earlier win, only to be replicated by Efimova after her later victory. The finger wagging by her rival struck a sour chord with Lilly, based on the fact that Efimova failed a doping test earlier in the year (after serving a 16 month suspension for a previous failed test).

Lilly was outspoken about her disdain for a competitor who she believed should never have been allowed to compete, based on her serial doping test failures. She was forceful and unequivocal. But that did not impress me as much as what happened next.

She backed up her words with action. Racing alongside of one-another in lanes 4 and 5, Lilly proceeded to beat her rival by a little more than half a second in the 100 meter breaststroke final last night. In an interview afterwards, she extolled the virtues of competing clean. Her obvious elation with being the best in the world was heightened by the satisfaction of doing it the right way.

Now reasonable people can disagree as to whether Lilly’s tussle with Efimova was in good form or not. But there is no disagreement about her conviction to live into her words. They were not empty to her. They were everything.

Just think how much easier it would be for us to decide on a president if we could be assured that they did the same. Is that too much to ask?

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