Leadership

Whenever I get to thinking, the first place I go is to the dictionary. Leadership is the ability influence people and get them to accomplish an objective or common goal. Fair enough. I think this begs the first question as to the common goal.

We live in a country that is wildly diverse. We should be probably four or five countries in reality. Ethnicity, spiritual values and economic goals all stir the pot. So let’s at least try to come up with a common goal.

Prosperity should be a start. Then what is your version of prosperity? Let’s just say economically it covers obscene wealth to subsistence. It should also be living in peace and some sense of security. Dems and Republicans have different ways to get there but let’s leave it there for now.

Now we need a leader or leaders. I say leaders because we have to encompass industry, spirituality, government and military to name a few. But who is she or he?

I’d say the person must have clearly defined goals and understand those goals implicitly. Have them down cold. Bolstered in their beliefs they must communicate them clearly to their flock. They must lead by example. Walk the walk. They must take care of their entire people. They expect excellence not perfection. They are humble and of strong character. Know anybody?

The masses will be eyeballing your sincerity as well as your knowledge. If they are going to commit to you they want to really feel it from the heart. Ambivalence has no quarter. They will look how you stay on message and how easily you are swayed by man. money and fame. They will pore over your weak points and attributes alike.

But the undeniable fact is that we cry out for leaders. I am not always sure why. Are we really lemmings or sheep? Why do some of us wait to step forward ? Are we really afraid? I think on this end we like the security of the crowd. We want to be loved so why take a chance? Deep down we may fear success but that’s enough of that.

But it is interesting that a team of high achievers still looks for a leader. The current race for a Republican nominee is outstanding for its breadth as well as its outcomes. A football team is lost without their star quarterback. A company loses its way because a CEO moves on. A country club goes down hill by the action or lack thereof of a board. Fascinating when you think about it.

I think of Obama. He really had people going for him. He was selling the crack of Hope and Change. And the country lined up.

Did he know his product cold? B. Did he communicate it? During the election B+. Afterwards C-. Was he humble? C- On transparency…D. On resisting outside influence C-. On staying true to his school…C- Not exactly the Dean’s List.

I think his plan was scattershot that was further exacerbated by a crappy economy and a pursuit of healthcare reform at the absolute worst times. He relied on guys like Emanuel who were old school hard nosed. His rhetoric went from exciting to professorial. He showed no humility. He wanted to change Washington but he got sucked up in the vortex of the Beltway and reelection.

My critique is academic not political. It goes hand in hand with who the hell else is out there. I could go through Congress but I don’t see anyone there. Correction. I do see some there but the upcoming elections and normal course of business disqualifies them. We need lovers not fighters. It ain’t there now.

We have Jamie Dimon but to me he is suspect. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates seem close. But where are the MLK’s, Pope John XXIII‘s, the Gandhis, the Regans, the Billy Grahams, the Eisenhowers and the FDR’s ? Who would you rather have? Joe Torre or Mitch McConnell? Joe Montana or Harry Reid? I just don’t see them out there.

Maybe you can’t be a leader of the people. Maybe we are too fractured. In trying to build consensus we are barraged by the talk show hosts playing to their corps. We are discouraged. We don’t see the answer. No one has dreams right now.

Maybe we just have to lead ourselves. Maybe we all have to speak out at once. Not necessarily in unison except in the pursuit of action. The president of Starbucks just came out and challenged all of us to withhold any donations of any kind to incumbents whether they be corporate or personal until the Congress and the President get a viable solution to the budget and deficit mess.

Cut off the PACs. Cut off the lobbying. My vote is the cattle will low in the fields and keep on grazing. My bet is that we don’t have the balls. And that is too bad. We could show leadership in ourselves. Oh well. What time are cocktails? Do you want to hear about my golf game today? Wonder how my stocks are doing.

As Always

Ted The Great.

Factoids:

The human heart weighs 10ozs. Some of you remember when LBJ came on and said, My fellow Americans, I come to you with a heavy heart. How heavy?

Men have 1.5 gals of blood in their body. Women have .9 gals.

Draw your own conclusions

Sign language users actually sign in their sleep.

The average person grows 590 miles of hair in their lifetime. I must have really been speeding as a kid.

The largest hog, Big Boy, weighed in at 1904 pounds. I feel skinnier already.

4 thoughts on “Leadership

  1. Since you didn’t ask:

    This country is depressed and in serious need of help.

    We have an absolute corrupted government.

    Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann cannot talk about the Lord without getting the hairy eyeball from the Media despite the fact that 70% of us believe.

    We have established a selfish, greed driven bunch of leaders. The Woodstock Generation? It’s over Rambo.

    I look at Goldman Sachs and I shudder. I knew a man, Frank Smeal. They named Penn State’s business school after him. He helped run Goldman in the 80’s.

    If some punks sold product as AAA and it was worth 50 cents on the dollar, windows would be open. Bodies would follow. We have given this to our children as role models.

    Standard and Poor’s blows it; rating Sub-Prime, AIG, Lehman, Bear Stearns and the Banks totally wrong in one total, massive fraud. We are paying for their incompetence. For that they downgrade us?

    We bail them out and they won’t lend to anybody. Thanks Robo Cops.

    Why is it when we discuss ever spending less than we did last year on anything, teachers get fired and programs get closed? Do these people in government, on any level, have the capability to cut any budgets? Ever? They never spend less. They cut the rate of growth and call a spending cut.

    What does it cost to take a dollar out of your pocket in Concord, pay it to the IRS and have it go from the Department of Education, through the legislative process, go into the State of Mass’s Treasury, and get handed to the school, in the town you live in?

    Bottom line, hold the budget at 2011 levels and deduct ONE PENNY for every dollar for the next seven years.

    Want to spend more on Social Security? Means test them.

    Try Paul Ryan’s plan for Mediscare in one state.

    Look at Massachusetts and figure if Universal Health Care is working or not and why. That would make too much sense.

    Heh, just show me that you can get a grip on Medicare and Social Security and you can whack my taxes. Until then nothing.

    • Well put and thank you for your thoughts. How in the hell do I get people off their asses? I am the last person that wants to be a downer. I like the title of pragmatist better.
      Ted

  2. Speak English to the masses:
    “Spending cut” vs “growth in spending cut”
    Percentage of money spent borrowed by the Feds 40%
    Cost of overhead in government-140%
    Ask young people three questions- do you know
    Budget this year-2012- 3,700 trillion
    Deficit in total today 13,300 trillion
    Deficit in 3 years 16 trillion assuming growth and interest rate projections are correct

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