Thursday, July 27, 2017
A couple of views of leadership

A couple of views of leadership

Sep 19

Leadership then and now

A columnist says,

A Leader’s Responsibility

There is no harm in choosing not to lead, leadership is not for everyone. The harm comes from accepting the challenge of leadership without the commitment to accept the responsibility of a leader as well.

Sometimes people actually tell me the person they hired is an idiot.

I tell people don’t be so hard on yourself. If you’ve hired someone and they are not getting the job done there are only two possibilities.

You’re not going to like either one.

The first one is that you simply hired the wrong person . . . The second possibility is that you did hire the right person but you’re not giving them the tools they need to succeed.

Leaders can make excuses or they can make more leaders.

General George Patton won renown as a leader. Note that,

As a leader, Patton was known to be highly critical, correcting subordinates mercilessly for the slightest infractions, but also being quick to praise their accomplishments.  While he garnered a reputation as a general who was both impatient and impulsive and had little tolerance for officers who had failed to succeed, he fired only one general during World War II, Orlando Ward, and only after two warnings, whereas Bradley sacked numerous generals during the war.

Note that Patton gave subordinates the tools to succeed – including tongue lashings. He didn’t fire them. Some of his rules were:

Always tell the truth.

Take calculated risks.

Use Your People – Delegate, but Require Accountability

Reprimand When Required

Say What You Mean

Always Be Alert for Trouble – Anticipate. Always Prepare Alternative Plans.

Notice that neither Keating nor General Patton advocated being a leader by getting in pictures then going home or by talking only to the press and your followers, like Ms. Foley does. Having different, and often nearly opposite positions when you “talk the talk” at your private rallies compared to your “open public” positions, like Ms. Foley, Mr. Capitelli, and Mr. Humphrey wouldn’t fall within the effective leadership patterns either.

Both Capitelli and Humphrey used slogans and assumptions for their arguments at the last two candidate forums, rather than facts.

The Humphrey-Foley supporters have been noteworthy for crass, rude and obnoxious behavior – whether that indicates the candidates have an “anarchist” approach to government isn’t clear. However, much of the ruckus came from a PAC that supports them, so we can assume that they approve of rude, disruptive and disrespectful behavior as a campaign tactic.

On the other hand, to some degree Mr. Ramos, Mayor Righeimer, Mr. Malone and Ms. Simpson appear to be leaders as the term is used in this post. They also used (verifiable) facts in their arguments at the recent “Feet to the Fire.” And their followers were polite and respectful.

Perhaps Ramos, Mayor Righeimer, Malone and Simpson “say what they mean” and value integrity and manners, as do their followers.

The candidates and their followers have sent us a message. Let’s not “hire the wrong person” in the first place.

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