Moore to the Point - Incredible Shrinking Leaders

Remember how when you were little, people in their forties and fifties seemed old, and people in their sixties and seventies seemed ancient? And then, as you got older, that shifted. Now, those formerly old people are contemporaries, and people in their twenties seem like babies.


Of course, our perspective shifts as we get older and grow ourselves – people who once seemed to be giants are just normal-sized. And then we watch as age takes effect – spines compress, shoulders begin to stoop, gaits become slower and a bit less steady, trains of thought trail off, and those who once seemed hale suddenly seem frail.

It happens to everyone – it’s just perhaps extra unnerving when we see it happening to our elected officials. These are the people we rely on to lead – to be on the ball and exude strength. And once that begins to wane, our confidence inevitably follows.

I don’t know if I favor max age limits for holding elected office, but I can’t dismiss the notion out of hand. The news is replete lately with instances of people who’ve rightly earned the chance to retire and relax a bit, seemingly clinging to power with a death grip as their own energy diminishes. It’s understandable, but it’s a terrible disservice, both to their constituents and to the officials themselves.


Maybe we all need to do a better job of learning how – and when – to let go.


This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Monday, July 31st. Audio included below.


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