Oil Spill Lesson in Failed Leadership
Note: Even though it’s hard to separate a politician from politics, this post is about leadership and is non-partisan. No matter if you like President Obama or not, this is a post on leadership.
Good leaders act. It’s that simple.
In the last few days, President Barack Obama has come under fire from liberals and conservatives alike for his perceived slow action on the now worst ecological disaster in the history of the United States. In fact, he spent an hour Thursday at a press conference trying to reassure the American people that he’s been engaged since the Deep Horizon platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21. He insisted that it has been an issue at the top of his priority list every morning and every evening.
The question is: if that is the case, why did he visit the gulf today for the first time since this disaster? If it was a priority, like most Americans believe it to be, why has the president taken vacation days, played golf and spent time with the National Championship Duke men’s basketball team before heading to the Gulf to make sure the government’s response was speedy and useful?
Take politics out of it, and it’s safe to say Mr. Obama has not done what chief executives – and leaders at all levels – must do: act.
There is no doubting the oratory skills of our current Commander in Chief. But words only go so far. Leaders must inspire with their words but lead by action and example. Obama has failed that test in this case.
The environmental disaster that is occurring on the Gulf Coast is hard for many Americans to understand. Lives are being devastated and families will soon lose their way of life. The fishing industry, decimated by Katrina, now faces an even worse fate. At a time when unemployment in the United States is near 10%, more families are about to lose their incomes because of this disaster. Everyone is looking to leaders to forge a path so we can help and start to heal the damage.Continued on the next page