Why leaders swear an oath of office

Why leaders swear an oath of office

Being promoted or elected to a leadership position is a big deal. It’s the first time most people will be granted authority over others. This makes it a critical moment for them to understand the balance of authority and responsibility. 

Swearing a Leadership Oath may help those who don’t know better understand the responsibilities of leadership. It will also serve to remind those who know but who sometimes forget where their true north lies.


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN OATH?

An oath is a public declaration, a promise, in front of witnesses, to conduct themselves in a certain way or in support of a certain cause. Those in public service all have one common element to their oath - to defend the Constitution of the United States. It comes down to stating that you will do your best and to uphold the qualities of the role you are about to assume with integrity and character.

 

WHAT DOES AN OATH ENSURE?

Nothing.

There is no contract with an oath that would incur legal action if broken.

Taking an oath doesn't ensure ethical behavior as we've seen over and over from politicians, senior military leaders, members of the church, and other organizations we have put our trust in.

I would argue that most people couldn't recite the oath they just took only hours after they offered it.


SHOULD ALL LEADERS TAKE AN OATH

Yes.

Leaders have an awesome responsibility to the individuals they've been entrusted to lead, to the organization they are supporting, and the values they are agreeing to uphold.

Taking an oath doesn't mean undying loyalty to an individual that can easily be corrupted if working for a dictator.

An oath means publicly declaring what you are agreeing to as you assume that role and entering into a social compact regarding how you will comport yourself in the execution of your duties.

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