New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie is showing us every day what we want to see in our elected Leaders. He campaigned on some very specific issues and has stays with those issues as he governs. The operative word here is govern. Winning the election doesn’t seem to be the goal he had in mind, being the leader of the state government, and doing what must be done was the goal.
He said the taxes are too high, the spending is out of control, the special interests have to much influence over the elected empty suits in power. He was recently questioned about his confrontational style. Part of his response was “They believe in bigger government, higher taxes and more spending,” the governor said. “I believe in less government, less taxes and in empowering local officials who were elected by their citizens.” That’s a very clear uncomplicated statement of what he campaigned on. There was no anger or frustration in his voice; he made a clear understandable comment. Then he went on “But the fact of the matter is, this is who I am, and this is who the people elected.” Another clear simple statement by a man who believes what he says.
Leadership is frequently that simple. Accept responsibility, understand the situation, develop your resources and make things happen. He’s there and is accountable to the voters of the state. He seems to realize that he doesn’t owe anything to the media. They will or will not report on the events accurately or fairly. He also seems to realize that he can speak directly to the people over the heads of the media. Thank you internet and all forms of electronic media.
One important element of effective leadership is consistency. He’s sticking to the same message he used to get elected. Lower taxes, less spending and empower the community leaders who must answer to those who elected them. His comments don’t seem to be flexible based on the audience or the situation. New Jersey is broken, he wants to fix it. Greed in many forms has corrupted the state and local governments. The public piggy bank is not there to make life easier for some at the expense of others. The public piggy bank is there to fund the common needs of the entire state of New Jersey. The tax payers are paying too much and it must stop NOW. Waste and excess must be controlled NOW.
Leadership is the skill most needed in government, but it’s rarely found in an elected official. One individual with a clear idea of what has to happen, who is willing to stand in front and say “Follow Me” when there are difficult obstacles to overcome. That’s a Leader. A leader accepts responsibility and maintains a positive attitude to lead and inspire the group he or she leads. They must maintain a steady course and a consistent performance at all times.
Leadership is badly needed at every level of government today. Too few leaders have the incentive to run for office. Leaders work in the private sector to work hard and be successful and share that success with others. Government has become so corrupt that good men and women who have the skills, courage and integrity to make a positive contribution will shy away from the corruption of politics.
An effective leader has to be able to stand in front and take the arrows from the shallow politicians who want to score cheap points and slap down a real leader. The very effective special interests don’t want leaders in office, because their strings are harder to pull. Leaders want answers to questions, not a tap dance.
If you stand in front of an elected leader and tell them that you must spend a million dollars to build a park for a group of underprivileged children. The effective leader wants to know where the money will come from, where the children are, who will be building the park, who chooses the contractors, where did the land come from who is profiting from this expensive noble gesture?
An elected empty suit doesn’t care about any of that. The elected empty suit says “Yes Sir” to the powerful special interest who told him what to do.
Leaders speak the truth regardless of the consequences. The break in at the Watergate didn’t get Richard Nixon into trouble. If he would have gathered the facts and told the truth he would have easily survived that. Failing to tell the truth and trying to cover up the truth is what got him in trouble. The cover up is always worse that the offense. Tell the truth and take your consequences and you will survive.
Bad things happen to good people, honest reaction and response is the only cure to a problem. Tell the truth, be consistent, and stand your ground are all qualities of leaders regardless of their environment. Be open to your subordinate and be willing to listen to their ideas. The leader is rarely the smartest person on the team, and the leader usually knows this. Effective leaders rarely develop the best plans on their own, but they can bring the best out of subordinates and then make the best ideas become reality.
Governor Christie, we need you and a whole lot more just like you!
Vote the Bums Out,