Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Leadership Needed

A few years ago, I saw in the distance a large group of people walking in my direction. They all were wearing the same tee shirt except for the lady in front who was carrying a clip board. As I got closer, I saw that the lady was wearing clothes with a Johnson Bank or other Johnson company logo on it. The people behind her were wearing Leadership Racine shirts. I was amused as I thought that these future leaders looked like dutiful followers to me.

I can agree with Leadership Racine in that we need leaders in the Racine area. But I have my doubts about this program.

Leadership Racine Advisory Board Chairman David Maack touted the program in today's Racine Journal Times. "The mission of Leadership Racine is to build community trusteeship of strong, diverse and knowledgeable leaders." This is done through a nine month program consisting of an orientation retreat, exposure to current community leaders, visits to non-profit agencies throughout the community, and group work on a sustainable project. Noteably absent from this program is any assessment, challenge, or criticism of our current leaders and or the paths they have taken thus far.

I do think that Leadership Racine participants have had some positive accomplishments, some of which were noted in the JT article. However, what is missing in my view is any evidence that the existing leaders in Racine, such as those that initiated Leadership Racine, are looking for anything other than followers to continue in their footsteps.

Racine does need leadership, that is for sure. But a leader must be willing to stand alone and to challenge the status quo. I see no evidence that Leadership Racine participants are being trained to do so.


Scott said...

Sometimes you nail it.

Anonymous said...

Leadership Racine exist only to create molds of what we have now.
No change only the status quo, suppress any who might have a new idea.
I am very surprised that Mr. Maack who should know what it's like being on the outside and looking in would be so much in the front of this group who most likely have nothing to do with him if he was not on the City Consul

Leadership tools can be taught real leadership comes from inside.
Leadership means taking risks trying new things saying if an idea has not worked taking responsibly for mistakes giving others credit allowing other to talk Credit for your ideas because the idea the improvement that is crital not the newspaper story the 30 sec sound bite.
You want two leaders
1) Monty Osterman (Created Party on the Pavement)
2) Mrs Hunter (Love and Charity)

Anonymous said...

So Mr Free Racine, i'm curious to know if you could name 3 individuals in Racine that you think are leaders, and why.

Denis Navratil said...

Anon, my name is Denis, the blog is named FreeRacine. If you wish to address me, please use my name.
You ask an fair question. I will take a shot at answering. But I will limit this discussion to leaders involved in public matters as that is my primary concern here.

But before I proceed, let me acknowledge that there are leaders and there are good leaders. Or to put it another way, there are those who lead in the right direction and those that lead in the wrong direction. Racine has the former but not the latter.

In my view, Racine has many serious problems that could be more adequately addressed. I mention them on this blog on a regular basis. Disfunctional schools, high rates of crime and unemployment, a declining population, high taxes, intrusive government regulation etc... There is not a person of high profile in Racine, that I am aware of, that is addressing these issues properly or courageously.

We need to challenge the RUSD status quo with free market competition, we need to be tougher on criminals and less generous to freeloaders, we need to reduce the size of government and the level of taxation, and we need to place our trust in competent individuals instead of government officials and bureaucrats. This is what a leader would do in Racine in my opinion.

Are there people who believe that I am correct? Yes, but none of them has had much success in gaining followers, myself included. So, for the time being, there are no good leaders in Racine, at least concerning broad public matters. I wish it weren't so.

Who do you think are our leaders anon?

Conscious Thought said...

you mention that your commentary is focused on those in the public sector, however many issues you bring up have a strong private sector involvement to them. Is the private sector leadership failing Racine as well?

You raise some interesting points, but since they seem to be hugely vague, i'm seeking some definitions. For example, what type of criminal should we be tough on? All of them or some of them? What type of freeloaders do we need to stop being generous to? Does challenging the RUSD status quo with free market competition, as you suggest, also mean challenging private school's access to public funds?

In addition, since leaders only lead when they have followers, who's to blame, the leaders or the sheep that follow them?