Family Reunion and Politics

Family reunion picture

As I write this, I am on vacation with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. In fact, I have my granddaughter leaning over my iPad at this very moment asking, “Grandpa, are you making a story?” We are waiting for the women to return from the grocery store and then we will leave for a cabin at Hawking Hills, Ohio where we will meet up with our other daughter and three more grandchildren.

What does this all have to do with leadership? Well, the thing is that this group is made up of people who have diametrically opposite political views and the subject always comes up at some point and I am asking myself: “What would be the leadership thing to do?”

I’m sure that many of you face the same situation when you have a family reunion. What does one do?

I am the conservative in the family. And I am obviously the older member of this particular group. As anyone my age knows, millennials tend to think that my generation got everything wrong and that they always know better. I know that almost anything that comes out of my mouth will be challenged.

And that’s OK. Even though being challenged is never comfortable; it is beneficial. It is a key element of critical thinking.

But “winning an argument,” or “persuading others to change their mind,” is not the purpose of our gathering. It is to enjoy each other’s company and have a good relaxing time.

So, I think the leadership thing to do in this situation is to avoid politics altogether. This is not the time or place for that debate.

So, as a leader, I will model what it means to stay focused on our purpose. I will enjoy my grandchildren, the great outdoors, and some great grilled hamburgers.

provides consulting services for churches and organizations. Contact Dr. Waddell today at gregwaddell[at] to discuss the needs of your organization.

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