There is an important distinction between leading and leading from behind - better known as directing.
Both are functions of management.
However, noticing which direction people are heading and jumping in front of the line is something altogether different. According to Scott Rasmussen, an American political analyst and public opinion pollster, public figures have been doing that for centuries.
That's important to keep in mind this week while we celebrate the birth of our nation. July 4, 1776, 56 brave souls signed the Declaration of Independence, the document that formally asserted this country was free from the British monarchy.
"But," Rasmussen claims, "it was public opinion that made the colonies independent."
He puts forth this argument:
"In 1765, 11 years before the Declaration was drafted, the Stamp Act enraged colonists and led some to challenge the authority of their king. The years that followed featured the Intolerable Acts, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and more. The willingness to challenge the crown was growing.
"Most significantly, on April 19, 1775, the shot heard 'round the world was fired on the Lexington Green. Following the 'battle' of Lexington and Concord, the colonists were at war with England. It took another 15 months before the Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence and six years before the British surrendered at Yorktown. Another six years would pass before the U.S. Constitution was written.
"In the American Revolution, public opinion moved first toward independence. The events at Lexington and Concord served as a catalyst, and the Declaration gave voice to the movement. It defined our national ideals of freedom and liberty, and our belief that governments derive their only just authority from the governed."
Thus, the Fourth of July holiday calls for more than a celebration; it also beckons us to remember governments derive " their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Please take time this weekend to read that historic proclamation, and appreciate the sentiments that lead to its drafting - and signing.
Have a happy holiday.