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Jan 4
Worst Examples of Leadership in 2005
I opined in an earlier post regarding Time magazine's choice for Persons of the Year. Clearly the Gates’s and Bono demonstrated leadership throughout the year in their respective fields of expertise (software and music) but won the award for their humanitarian effort and their ability to engage so many in their causes.

There are of course a few cases in 2005 where so-called leaders, failed and I hope something to learn from each. Local, State and Federal governments’ response to Hurricane Katrina was an example of failed leadership and really where this blog got its start.

Leaders find their way to positions of power in many ways. How they use that power often defines them. While many leaders have power, power is not leadership. Power often accompanies the position and is an external symbol. Strength, on the other hand, relates to the character of a leader, rather than his position. Strength is internal. Leaders typically use power to motivate people through fear, while strength leads people through inspiration.
While I believe there was a failure at nearly all levels of leadership during the initial days of Hurricane Katrina, I also believe that eventually, effective leadership came to the forefront.

However, as the following stories illustrate, leadership positions and positions of power do not a leader make. So below are a couple of the most uninspiring leaders of 2005.

Black Entertainment Television viewers name Farrakhan  2005 Person of the Year.
This is the same Louis Farrakhan that alleged that the levee in New Orleans was “blown up intentionally to kill poor blacks.” (hear the audio)

I agree with Michelle Malkin -

“While fellow black American Lt. Gen. Russell Honore was actually rescuing Hurricane Katrina victims, mobilizing troops, and saving lives, Farrakhan was bloviating about levees being blown up and stewing in racial hatred. And Farrakhan gets the honor for having the "most positive impact on the Black community?" BET online users, to borrow Lt. Gen. Honore's signature phrase, are hopelessly stuck on stupid.”

An even worse I fear is this story from the Baton Rouge Advocate, also noted by Michelle.

Blanco orders remodeling just after storm

"Shortly after the two hurricanes, Gov. Kathleen Blanco decided to renovate some of her staff's offices. At the time of her decision, Blanco also was hinting at deep budget cuts to state programs and the possibility of laying off 20 percent of the state workforce.

The project cost $564,838.

The newly refurbished office space on the sixth floor of the State Capitol includes hookups and mounts for two flat screen televisions, Swedish granite countertops, walnut paneling and frosted laminated glass. The floor, which will not be accessible to the public, was redesigned to add three new offices, a conference room and file storage areas...

...Restoration work began on the sixth floor Oct. 10, two weeks after Hurricane Rita struck Cameron on Sept. 24."

I hope we see better in 2006 and I hope we do better in 2006.  Leaders can only lead if they have followers.

3 Comments/Trackbacks

well said!
love your blogs-been reading them daily

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