Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Leadership- does it even exist anymore

Is there no one who is willing to risk sticking her or his neck out to tell the truth and lead?  Of course, before anyone can lead he or she needs correct information.
Common Core is one of the latest bogey men out there.   For the one millionth time, it is NOT a federal program.   Yet last week in a debate, a man running for a seat on the county council proclaimed that he was not in favor of Common Core but could not fight it because "it is a federal program and we could lose federal dollars."  Listen up, it is NOT a federal program and one of the many complaints is that there are NO federal dollars attached to what will be an expensive rewrite of curriculum.  This man wants to represent people on a governing body and has a position on an important educational issue that is based on total misinformation.   How can we trust him to lead on other issues?  Does he make a habit of having opinions completely unsupported by facts.
Then there is Ebola.  Yes in Africa it is a very dangerous virus.  And not even in all of Africa.  Africa is a huge continent and only a small part of it is infected.  Then there is the United States.  We are a large county with approximately 330 million people.  So far, one person has died in our country and he was infected in Africa and misdiagnosed when he got here, so his treatment started well into symptoms.  He is still ONE person out of 330 million.   Run those numbers, I did.  That means .0000000909 people have died of Ebola in the United States.  That is .00000909%!   And yes there are two other people infected.  There have also been several people who were infected, treated and cured in our country. Politicians are screaming to close the borders!  Lots of citizens think we should too.   Three hundred thousand people die in our country every year from illness/disease that is the result of being overweight.  I have not heard a single person scream that we need to close the candy counters or purge the grocery stores of unhealthy food.  Where is responsible leadership gone on this issue?   Even the President has caved and hired an Ebola czar.  Maybe he ought to hire someone from Weight watchers as an executive assistant.  Between the media and politicians it is surprising anyone is venturing outside their homes.  Remember when we thought elected officials were elected to lead? Thing again.
Then there is going into the earth's rocks for oil and natural gas.  Is that process safe for the environment?  Are we doing it correctly?  I don't know.  And what I think is we don't have all of the science in to know for sure.  It has certainly helped us all economically as the price of oil is coming down steadily.  What I do know is that responsible leadership calls for getting all the facts that are currently available; weighing the pros and cons, and seeing how we can best mitigate the cons and move on.  I also know it is irresponsible and poor leadership to blame all of life's ills on this process just because you or your organization are against it. Organizations are asking people to donate to fight this process because it "could" expose chemicals that lead to breast cancer.  We really do not know what it COULD do.  Again the leaders of this organization have chosen to lead through fear rather than through thoughtful discussion and debate.
Leadership is tough.  It is not management or the status quo.  It is sticking your neck out and asking people to follow your direction.  It is risking being wrong.  But it is not purposely asking people to follow misinformation.  That is not leadership that is demagoguery.

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