Whistleblower Ed Snowden Demonstrates Leadership?

Whistleblower Ed Snowden Demonstrates Leadership?

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Today, June 10, the top story on the Drudge Report is about Edward Snowden, a 29 year old who leaked significant information about the extensive nature of the NSA surveillance program, which included archiving vast quantities of data about American citizen’s communications.  We don’t know anything about Edward, and certainly can’t vouch for his character or true motives, but we do recognize several positive attributes of leadership which we desire to see come from more Americans, and that is the reason we launched the “Lead or Get Out of the Way” initiative, to identify and challenge regular citizens to step up and become leaders in their own family, church, and community.

For the full article, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

Below is the video interview (12:30).

So what elements of leadership do we see?

1.  He did what he believed was the right thing, no matter the personal cost to him. 

Even though he could be extradited and brought back to the US and likely prosecuted if that happens, he did what he believed was right. “He fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him,” wrote Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian.  Edward Snowden said, calmly, “I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

2.  He is a regular guy who took responsibility and took action. 

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”

3.  He seems to have integrity in his own life.

According to Edward, he has led a very honest life, and doesn’t seem to have anything to hide:

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

4.  He put principles above personal preservation.

“For him, it is a matter of principle. ‘The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,’ he said.”

Are you hoping for better leadership?  You may be the very one that needs to step up, take responsibility and take action to make a difference.  Accept the challenge and join “Lead or Get Out of the Way” today!

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