12/27/2011 08:22 am ET | Updated Feb 26, 2012

What Does Leadership Look Like?

What did leadership in America look like in 2011?

We know what it should be. Leadership in America should be about holding everyone accountable to the highest standard of community and commerce. It should represent a voice that is diverse in its spirit, attitude and ownership. A voice that inspires us all to take action for the betterment of a healthier whole; where we can all stand for something that makes us feel that we have each other's back and that we are pulling for one another's advancement.

As a young man, I remember how President Reagan inspired the country. Reagan was authentic and whether you believed in his policies or not, you believed in him as a person. He made you feel proud to be an American. Reagan delivered a message as if it were a two-way conversation. Many agreed with him, many did not; but all acknowledged his capacity for leadership.

So, what did leadership look like in 2011 in the US? It appeared to be a combination of sensationalism and entitlement. Think about the following: Joe, Herman, Newt, Arnold, Tiger, Donald, and Sarah -- just to name a few. The fact that we can refer to them by their first name says it all.
Today, the people are not paying attention. All the noise around us has made it difficult for people to understand the intentions of our leaders and of our own personal responsibility for leadership. We are losing our leadership identity. We need leaders who can cut through the noise and remind us of what we are about - and what our personal responsibility is.

As we head into 2012, and as more and more Gen Yer's get ready to take over the leadership of America, who are their role models and what will define their approach, style and attitude? Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga? How can we help this new generation of leaders? It's time for us all to step back and ask ourselves the question: what is my leadership responsibility and how can I act in 2012 to make this country a better place to live in?