INDECISION: The Costliest Course Of All.
If you do not make decisions, you will experience your life at the whim of others who will decide for you. If you cannot make decisions, you have no business being a manager or a leader. If you repeatedly demonstrate indecisiveness, you will lose your influence, your effectiveness, and your following. If you surrender your power of choice to others, you will not only lose your power permanently, but you will be looked upon as someone who was not worthy of power from the very outset.
A leader who permits himself or herself to be led by his or her subordinates, is not a leader, but a puppet, and will eventually be seen as such.
This is NOT a post about politics. This IS a post about leadership.
Here are some examples, right from the White House:
1. United States President Obama permitted the US Fed, under the reign of Ben Bernanke, limitless, unsupervised lattitude to bail out failing financial institutions (failing due to their own ineptitude, avarice, sense of entitlement, 'creative accounting', government incest and toothless legislation, regulation and law enforcement) by issuing them unprecedented sums of fiat money without any significant strings, for which the US taxpaying public will ultimately have to pay with real earnings from real productive activity. Imagine rewarding bad behavior, flooding the market with currency backed by a bankrupt government's "promise to pay", and then punishing the victims of the crime (the depositors, borrowers, pensioners, smaller businesses and individual taxpayers) by making them use their labors to reimburse an overextended government for rewarding the guilty?
To date, this money has not seen its way into the economy, jobs creation, small business lending or any type of productive stimulus. It has found its way into the wallets of some ruthless executives, and into more market speculation and other dangerously risky things -- the things that caused the damage in the first place.
Did this president inherit a damaged, indebted economy and a heat map of military efforts and policing all over the globe? -- yes he did. Perhaps that was former US President Bush's heavy-handed legacy. But while Bush will be remembered (regardless of your personal politics) as an aggressive, arrogant leader, he will be remembered as a president.
2. The BP offshore oil tragedy -- an environmental and economic disaster to make Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez look like parking tickets -- presented an opportunity for a president to be a leader, and coordinate the efforts of the federal agencies and forces and the Louisiana government to grap BP by the pipe and force it to contain its spills...to demand that it pay every single penny associated with the cost of the cleanup, and to fine it daily for every spilled barrel.
Who is leading the cleanup? BP. A president abdicates decisiveness and enforcement power at a great loss to his own perceived leadership, but also at a loss to the ecology and economy of the entire United States. Fining BP could absolutely help narrow the federal budget deficit, while also encouraging BP to own up to its own negligence, duplicity and greed and pay the price. Who will pay (aside from the democratic party in terms of positioning)? The US Taxpayers.
To trowel some bloody icing onto the ever-growing fecal cake, a leader gives executive orders and sees to their enforcement. This leader is a study in cajoling, compromising and begging. He should be issuing orders and expecting them to be carried out.
His ideals and agenda notwithstanding, a leader seizes the opportunity to exert power, lest he be seen as a toothless tiger. I did not care for George Bush, but the scrappy, pompous little king of the malaprop ("this is not rocket surgery...") with a wanton disregard and almost palpable disgust for either the interests of the middle-class or the Constitution (and the law in general) was a leader. He did quite a bit of damage to the United States' economy and to its international relationships with other sovereigns, but he was feared and respected.
The current President, Barack Obama, ideals and agenda notwithstanding, presents a whole new problem -- he is failing in his role as a leader, and many parties will be irreparably injured by his repeated inability or reluctance to act precipitously and immediately.
Given a choice, your average slave to the republic would rather have a fierce leader who makes decisions that create catastrophes than a benign, capitulative but well-intended leader who doesn't use the power which the People have vested in him.
Keywords, Labels and Terms: indecision, unenforcement, wavering, leadership, command skills, power vacuum, Articles by Douglas Castle, TNNWC Group LLC, Taking Command, posturing, positioning, confidence, fear, avoidance, palliative measures, ineffective compromise, procrastination, abdicating responsibility...
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