Leaders lead! -Seth Godin
For over 25 years I was CEO of a business, a role I took very seriously, especially since as a co-founder I helped build the business, hired most of the people and felt an obligation to them to make certain the business was healthy and profitable. After all, they had put their faith in me and the leadership team by chosing to work for our company and through all of us working together they were able to pay their mortgages, send their children to college and enjoy the fruits of their labor. A win-win relationship.
And every so often, as most businesses experience, we would hit a difficult time. Sales forecasts were below target levels, costs were up, a major client was having a difficulty, etc. The life of business.
And on many a occassion these “crisis events” would fall around the time of my family vacation time. And more often than not I would cancel or postpone my holiday to help the company work its way out of the dilemma. And I am not alone in this behavior. Thousands of small business owners and company executives do the same thing. It’s an obligation of leadership, part of the job. With the authority comes the responsibility.
I am in the US this week and have been watching with amazement the behavior of the US Congress. This is the worst financial and social crisis faced by the US in my lifetime, and Congress goes on vacation! There is work to be done and these are elected officials whose responsibility is to the people of America, to step up and lead during times of crisis. When tough decisions are to be made in the best interests of all the people, there is no time for gamesmanship, blaming, bickering, pork-barrel demands, or vacations. Are the millions of people out of work taking vacations? They wish.
And it’s not just the role of the President to set things straight. We have a representative government and it seems to me that Congress has forgotten just whom they are representing. Much of the bickering and lack of real reform and progress is due to the fact that members of Congress seem to be representing their own states and special interest groups rather than the good of all the people. In my mind the job of Governor is to focus on the issues of their state and the job of Congress is to focus on the nation. I believe if leaders lead, take a stand for the right things, enact the tough reforms, then we can all enjoy a well deserved vacation in the future.
It’s time to lead, holidays and vacations can come later when our elected officials have done their jobs properly.
Tight Lines . . .