Reflection #21: A Model for Leadership– Alan Grayson a Profile in Courage

“Words are like heavy burdens for some. Like rocks or weights on your back. If birds talked they might not fly.” 

President Obama is carrying a heavy burden in trying to live up to his lofty words–Change You can believe in, Yes, we can etc and now the  Nobel Peace Prize adds to the expectations. An example of “high expectations” is Health Care Reform.  His promise during the campaign season on Universal Health has morphed many times during the last nine months.  At first, the talk was about the need and right of all Americans to Health Care through an ambitious and long over due single payer system like “Medicare for All”.  The “Single-payer” idea was thrown under the bus before it was even given a chance, then a public option to provide competition for insurance companies is being attacked by opponents as a government takeover and a Co-Op Health System was too hard to figure out. So, the latest compromise being discussed is to just let the States choose whether to adopt a public option or not. What a mess is created when there is little leadership shown on driving a simple, clear, and consistent message.  As we all know words are cheap, but action and follow-through are hard because it requires courage, risk, and an understandable message delivered over and over again.

Obama and his team seem to be ready to settle for any bill so they can  justify the time and political capital spent on this intractable problem. Maybe they need to reflect on this powerful message from Eric Hoffer, long time change philosopher and longshoremen. Hoffer said: “In human affairs every solution only sharpens the problem, to show us more clearly what we are up against, there are no FINAL SOLUTIONS.”  

President Obama the time for leadership is now. Leaders Serve Period, so no more waiting for others to carry the burden of action. You and your team must step-up, people are dying everyday. The following speech by Alan Grayson, House Rep from Florida, demonstrates the assertive and “profiles in courage” we need. Please Mr. President show this to your team and stop fiddling around. 

Yes, We Can Leadership on Health Care Reform–Where are the “Profiles in Courage”? Where is the Public Rage?

Baucus Plan is not a “profile in courage” but in cowardiness–This so call reform bill being debate and marked-up by the Finance Committee is a waste of time and a joke. This bill is a give away to the Insurance and Big Pharma and a tax on the middle income. What has Baucus been doing all these months? Most of us would have been fired if we were showing such incompetence in our jobs. It appears that he has been negotiating with himself. Continue reading “Yes, We Can Leadership on Health Care Reform–Where are the “Profiles in Courage”? Where is the Public Rage?”

Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership–Changing D.C. Mindset through Multi-tasking

“Don’t permit fear of failure to prevent effort. We are all imperfect and will fail on occasions, but fear of failure is the greatest failure of all”.  The pundit’s on CNN and MSNBC are worried about how much President Obama is taking on–the economy, health care, education and global climate change. The fact is the President promised change and he is doing what D.C. is not use to being a leader who is a pragmatic experimenter. His style values thoughtful action above more talk, delay, and more talk. His job is to change the way Washington works. In doing this he must help government agencies and Congress dramatically shrink the time it takes to get things done. The “power of focus and action” has been missing for many years in Washington. Continue reading “Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership–Changing D.C. Mindset through Multi-tasking”

Decision-Making and Risk Taking for Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership

According to Dr. Warren Bennis, leadership is all about making more effective decisions. Decision making takes rational assessment of the situation, gathering as much information as possible, identifying and agreeing on the problem to be solved, weighting the pros and cons of alternatives, calculating the possible outcomes (unintended and intended consequences), measuring the risks and then deciding. Leadership decisions often strike out in new directions that can define our nation’s reputation and identity, perceived power, and progress toward our dreams for a better country individually and in a collective sense. Continue reading “Decision-Making and Risk Taking for Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership”