Business Leaders Must Step Up

Posted by on February 23, 2021 at 4:56 PM

Like so many other Americans I am frustrated with the unbridled lack of civility, crippling partisanship and dysfunctional gridlock that prevents our country from solving the serious problems we face on a daily basis.

We must require a higher standard from our elected officials. A new paradigm of politics — one based on civil political discourse, critical thinking, and personal accountability.   This can and should be demanded by the electorate of its leadership, and the time to do so is now.

As I reflect on the entrepreneurial spirit that has made our country great, and our ability as a nation from the first vision of our founding fathers to reflect upon our mistakes and to correct those mistakes, I can’t help but ask why aren’t more of us willing to make the commitment to revitalizing our democracy?

I have dedicated the last 10+ years of my life to fixing the problem; to creating the healthy self-governance that We the People deserve. As co-founder of the Bridge Alliance, a dynamic community of 100 + organizations working across traditional ideological, demographic, racial and political divides, we are addressing the serious problems facing our democracy.

The work of our member organizations is not a pipedream. With budgets of over $700,000,000 a year they are making progress daily in providing a citizen voice to embrace our differences and fix our democracy.  This is merely 5% when compared to the $14 billion spend on the 2020 election.  Imagine how much more could be done if resources were re-allocated. They are bridging the divides that separate and breaking down silo so we can build up our self-governance in a new way.

I believe that if more of us knew of the many inspiring business leaders, university leaders, political leaders, and citizen leaders who are not waiting for the government to solve our problems more of us would become involved. We MUST come together as a citizenry and country to work toward developing win-win solutions that transcend party lines..

And so I ask those who have the economic ability to ask this simple question:

How can we as leaders, as the economically privileged, use our wealth and our expertise and our imagination and empathy to revitalize and reform our democracy?

As a businessman, I am not so naïve to think it will be easy.

To make it happen we need “Big Ideas,” the big ideas that have always moved our great country forward; the type of big-thinking that many of us have done in our business careers.

If we make the same commitment to our democracy that we do to resolve business challenges, we can represent the antidotes to our nation’s ailments and take immediate action to improve the divisions that divide our country.

I know this to be true because as Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Bridge Alliance, ( an alliance of 100 +/-  organizations putting the country before party, I see citizens in leadership positions across the country taking action themselves, rather than waiting for the government to take action. I see organizations working to fix our politics, improve our governance, engage our citizens, and cross today’s political gulf.  I see more and more young leaders running as independents for office. 

The Bridge Alliance is well on its way to creating the political and social infrastructure so badly needed to amplify the energy of the many organizations working independently within the political reform movement.

And so, if you have the concern that our leadership in Washington lacks both the civility and critical thinking needed to address the great problems facing our country, please join me and others to scale a grassroots effort to activate and generate the positive changes our country so profoundly needs.  Reach out to us and we can help you define your personal civic priorities and then match you with the Bridge Alliance organizations aligned with your passion for change.  Forging a path forward must be an inclusive process and we intend to make it just that.

Many of my friends and associates say the system can never change. I say that our Founding Fathers were considered to be idealists by some, and that the Constitution they designed still endures 240  years later. We can and must build upon their brilliant and exemplary framework to finish what they collectively intended.

So again, I ask:

How can we as leaders, as the economically privileged, use our wealth and our expertise and our imagination and empathy to revitalize and reform our democracy? I’m waiting for your call.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are strictly those of the author and do not represent the views of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, the Bridge Alliance, or the Bridge Alliance member organizations. Additionally, the Bridge Alliance Education Fund makes no representations as to the accuracy of this post's content.