This morning I watched the news on NBC….my wife likes them….reporting on the trial of Jerry Sandusky and his attorney's claim that they are going to appeal. Then the report made it known that the authorities weren’t done with this mess, and that others may be charged as more evidence of what occurred comes out. There is the head of the athletic department and a vice president at the university that have been charged or may be charged with lying under oath or covering up the child abuse perpetrated by Sandusky.
I know this may seem like a strange question, but does anyone see a glimmer of enlightenment over all of this?
The glimmer of enlightenment is this; there is a difference between managers and leaders. A good leader can hire a good manager when the leader is in charge. A person with good management skills but no leadership skills who is in charge can’t hire a good leader. What’s the difference?
Through the course of my life I discovered that being a good leader means standing up and saying; ‘Hold it! This is all wrong and we’re going to change!’ Whether it is in government or in business that means being the rock in the current, a quality that had to have been there for most of their life. Let’s face it; heterodoxy isn’t for the faint of heart, and for the most part is a personal trait, which means that this quality was part and parcel of who and what they are, making it easy to be seen for what they are, disliked, ridiculed and rejected, however it can be learned and practiced. As for the go along to get along guys who are perceived as 'good leaders'; they may in reality only be ‘good managers’ who were chosen to merely organize the direction everyone decided to go! They’re easy to deal with, easy to get along with and would never in a million years stir up the manure.
Take for example two arenas where this is so obvious I shouldn’t have to explain it, but most don’t get it because people believe they represent the highest standards for leadership. Military career officers and PhD’s! Let me tell you about Col. John Boyd. (What appears below is from a site that no longer exists, but this link is just as good...maybe better.)
"Forty-Second" Boyd, the man remembered for defeating every opponent in aerial combat at the Air Force's premier dog-fighting academy in two-thirds of a minute, helped found the Fort Myer get-togethers at the end of his Air Force career”…..however this doesn’t demonstrate the “long and often painful saga of a man who, as a full colonel, went toe to toe, time after time, with a phalanx of two-and three-star generals for the good of the country, winning most of his battles and surviving long enough to help provide secretary of defense Richard Cheney the ideas needed for swift and decisive victory in the Persian Gulf War. ("Keep it simple — so that the generals will understand it," Boyd frequently told his small band of fellow guerrillas, known collectively as "The Acolytes." Boyd was…..a Pentagon "Whiz Kid"— one of the rare few who were "defined by the courts-martial and investigations they faced." He was also "the most important unknown man of his time and the most remarkable unsung hero in American military history."….. Loud and profane, Boyd's intellectual achievements were matched by his relentless guerrilla warfare against hidebound "careerists" then running the Air Force…… The tenets of this speech reflected both his spirit and values:
"One day you will come to a fork in the road. And you're going to have to make a decision about what direction you want to go." [Boyd] raised his hand and pointed. "If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments." Then Boyd raised the other hand and pointed another direction. "Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference."
He paused and stared. "To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"The only reason he ever was promoted to Colonel was because Reagan became president, but he would never be allowed to wear stars. This pattern plays out in the universities also. Show me a graduate student who, while attempting to get his PhD. told the PhD.s evaluating him that their ideas were all wet…. and worse yet …..proved it; and I will show you someone who is stuck with a Masters degree. They learn early on that to get along you must go along. When that happens it becomes a way of life and as they rise in the ranks they will only tolerate those that are just like them. To do otherwise would be a personal admission of failure. Eventually the ranks of “leadership” is filled with those who don’t have the courage to stand up against all odds for what is right.
Within the scientific community it has been made abundantly clear that the holy grail of science isn’t ‘truth’; its government grant money. The fraud perpetrated on the world by ‘scientists’ regarding Anthropogenic Global Warming has been exposed and now the world is aware that this has been going on for decades. The world is now aware that what appears as leadership within the scientific community is no real leadership at all; only hucksters, con artists and cowards. The only leadership in science is from those that are attacked and smeared as ‘skeptics’, even to the point of being called ‘Flat Earthers’ and compared to those who perpetrated the holocaust during WWII. Those who are real leaders, those who have the courage to stand against the tide, those who are prepared to lose everything for that which is right are always called….. unreasonable. My answer to that: I would like for someone to show me any insurmountable obstacle that was overcome by being reasonable!
Being unreasonable in pursuit of a goal takes a clear vision and understanding, it takes courage, it takes fortitude, it requires the ability to stand outside the comfort and support of the group. But I would be willing to bet that the children Sandusky abused would have loved to have seen someone who was unreasonable in the universities ranks of ‘leadership’! Unfortuntely there was no one; including a much beloved football coach who should have been in the forefront defending these kids. I wonder how many of this cast of characters now regret their cowardice?
Whether it is in the government, military, academia or business this is something we need to learn, repeat, retain and practice: "To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"