Posted by: chrismaser | May 13, 2010


The uncommitted constituent is the flip side of the overly demanding one. The uncommitted person generally lacks motivation and has little investment in the democratic system of government. This lack of motivation may be evidenced by a stated indifference or an unwillingness to assume any personal responsibility in the democratic process.

It is easy for an inexperienced leader to be drawn into unproductive games with an uncommitted constituent or group. In such games, the uncommitted person(s) receives an unprecedented amount of attention as the leader tries to convince them of the value of getting involved in the democratic process, the validity of the leader’s point of view, or both. As with the aforementioned overly demanding constituent, a leader must draw clear boundaries with the uncommitted constituent or risk wasting a tremendous amount of irreplaceable time.

Too often, however, an inexperienced leader continues in these games without confronting the person(s) for fear of either “losing” them as a potential supporter or losing face as a leader. An effective leader must learn not only to risk confronting those people who straddle the fence but also that some people are simply not interested in becoming involved, and nothing is likely to change their minds. You must let the disinterested go and pay attention to those who are interested. Even then, measurable results may be slow in coming.

Series on Leadership Challenges:

• The Challenges Of Leadership

• Dealing With Anxiety

• Use Of Power

• Criticism In The Form Of Projection

• Criticism And Your Image

• Being And Disclosing Yourself

• The Zen Of Perfection

• Honesty With Followers

• Understanding Silence

• Understanding The Need To Be Heard

• Establishing Your Boundaries

• Accepting Slow Or Delayed Results

• Learning Your Limits

Text © by Chris Maser, 2010. All rights reserved.

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection

This article is excerpted from my 1998 book, Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Development. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 235 pp. It is updated in my 2012 book, Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. If you want more information about this book, want to purchase it, or want to contact me—visit my website.

If you wish, you can also read an article about what is important to me and/or you can listen to me give a presentation.

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