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Truth is Power

If you have taken the time to read any of my recent musings, you know I have spent a fair amount of time trying to glean from the rubble a handful of leadership insights from the response to our country’s worst natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina provided plenty of fodder for the world to again point a finger and proclaim with universal chorus all that is wrong with America. Of course the harshest criticism goes to the local, state and Federal officials that we as citizens look to for authority, civil order and in times of unprecedented disaster, basic food and water.

I have said my share regarding where, how and why our leadership may have failed. To add to that I found some keen analysis provided by Jonah Goldberg on how a “journalistic fiasco” added to an already downward spiraling situation. Unlike so many voices of the past thirty days, Mr. Goldberg calls it like it is – astutely and with candor including adding himself to the heap of those in the blogosphere that as he notes “bought the hyperventilation hook, line, and sinker.”

His analysis of “Katrina’s Other Consequence,” namely the failure of some journalists to report the events in New Orleans accurately, deserves your attention if you blog and if you hope that truth matters.  From my standpoint of offering insight into the leadership, his thoughts on this topic are equally noteworthy. 

From it, I was reminded of a quote that offers not only insight but hope for each of us as we look back to Katrina to find lessons that will make us better people, neighbors, volunteers, citizens and leaders. 

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

From the mouth of a Yankee comes salve to the wounds of the south. Abraham Lincoln knew from crisis and leadership. And he knew how to heal.  As one of the greatest  leaders in our national history, he understood that if leaders will empower people, we will prevail.  I would venture that those of us in the blogoshere probably believed this truth long before Katrina hit.

However, in the past week we have had it burned into our souls. Blog-on and with it bring the truth.

2 Comments/Trackbacks


My daughter told me about a forum at BYU by David McCullough, author of the biography on John Adams as well as his latest book, 1776.

At the end of the forum, there was a Q&A period and McCullough mentioned that his biggest disappointment in George Bush wasn't the war, wasn't his Katrina response, but was his lack of leadership in asking us to do more, to serve more, to make this country great, and to make our ideals shimmer through our resolve and our actions (my words, not his).

He also has quite a bit to say about leadership of those early patriots. Check out this brief summary of his talk, which I think you will find tremendously relevant.

Tim >> Thanks for that heads up. I will defitintely take a look at the summary. I loved the book and all that I learned about U.S. history and Adams. I am looking forward to reading his book about Washington.

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