In life, depending on which are the paths you choose to follow, there are sometimes that you have to face yourself to the public and let people decide your future throughout their vote. Winning an election is one of the greatest feelings one can experience, full of pride and with people congratulating you over your campaign or success and offering the support for the period to come.
We always remember this particular moment and the glory it brings when we decide to run for a political or institutional charge but there are some hidden details that no one tells us and that people usually do not take into account. When you hold a public charge –and by public I mean you were elected by popular vote- your personal life also goes public. People will judge you for every action you take, be it related or not with the task you were voted to exercise. You are no longer a normal person you are the president of X organization or the leader of X institution and you will always be the image of the organization/institution, performing or not task related to your job.
In your job, every decision you take, although obeyed and executed perfectly, will be put under the spotlight and those who you intend to lead will or can have some doubts, no matter how much they trust you. Holding a public charge implies, necessarily, making a constant trade-off between what is needed and what people like; this is why sometimes although objectives are met with, there will be people that will not be entirely happy and will feel that their interests or opinions were not considered. Being in a public charge implies having a greater vision and being able to weight common and final objectives over individual preferences, personal feelings and specially being able to support critics.
Being in a public charge means that, in many cases, you will be hated and unpopular if you take hard and though decisions and that you have to be prepared to face them. Sometimes it even implies telling things to your friends or beloved ones that they will not like to hear but that are necessary for the well-functioning or achievements that have been planned. There are times when you even start doubting in yourself if you see that everyone criticizes your beliefs and your philosophy of doing things. Public decisions automatically mean evaluation and critics by the public, always remembering that every person may have a different opinion and that having all people agree on something is quite difficult.
Here comes the hard part of being a leader or in a public charge. Being in a public position does not require as much strength as it does patience and resistance. Sometimes keeping the same north one started with becomes a titanic task because the path to follow may not always come without obstacles, be it circumstantial but especially social obstacles. Performing a job that is constantly being evaluated and talked about is difficult and it requires a psychological strength that not all people have to always stick by your principles and ways of doing things, always keeping in mind what others have to say and being humble enough to recognize mistakes, amend them and improve your performance.
It is common to hear that power/money corrupt people but I think it is completely the other way around. The position of power or leadership that one can hold can be used for good or bad, it all depends on the intentions that the person running for the charge has and what his or her philosophy is. It is very common for people who are elected for a charge to forget that they once were not in power and to forget that at the end, the only difference is a name on a paper. People are the same as they were before an election and will be the same afterwards. Not more, not less than anybody.
As said in Spiderman “Great power comes with great responsibility” , and this is something that we see leaders from all around the world and in all spheres tend to forget and slowly lose the essence they once had that led them to power. Staying true to one’s beliefs can be harder that what one thinks when many people try to influence your mind and criteria for what they think is best, regardless of the nature of their intentions. But, quoting Saint Francis Xavier “What good is it for a man to win the world if he looses himself?”.