Congress on Vacation? . . .

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 . . .

John R Childress

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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1 Response to Congress on Vacation? . . .

  1. Anonymous says:

    Even David Cameron has come back from holiday and has asked parliament to come back because of the riots!


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