Page 23 WWW.CNYBJ.COM April 17, 2009
CENTRAL NEW YORK
Leadership Lessons from the Front Page
By DaviD H. Panasci dent’s most ardent supporters must feel there is a time to sweet-talk him. Barack
concern with his selection process for his Obama came into office giving many a
ooks on the subject of econom- top level of advisers. Doubts surrounding sense of hope. Media coverage of inaugu-
ics have been steadily rising up the executive team can undermine confi- ration activities suggested that the newly
best-seller lists in response to dence in a leader and his abilities. installed president’s popularity would
the constant barrage of negative financial • Principle #2 — Effective leaders allow him to accomplish a great deal.
news. Despite this surge, books on lead- know when and what to delegate. Small So much, that Republicans still smarting
ership remain among the favorites of ex- details should be pushed down the chain from a resounding defeat in November
ecutives charged with circumnavigating of command by those who can quickly ef- were apprehensive to criticize the new
the current environment. Retired CEOs fect those changes. To do otherwise will chief executive in any manner.
compete with the likes of Sun Tzu and result in micromanagement. No leader This advantage was all but thrown away.
Joe Torre to earn the dollars of managers can move his charge forward if bogged By delegating too much of the stimulus
looking to improve their organizations and down in details. Still, an executive must be plan’s development and shutting out any
lead them into a future filled with success. ready to take charge in the development meaningful dialogue of its construction,
For guidelines on leadership, however, and implementation of initiatives that are the president galvanized his opposition.
there is no need to rifle through every strategic in nature. This includes the com- By denying the other side any real input,
title on the subject listed on Amazon. munication of the initiatives to assure buy- he helped Republican leaders rally their
com. Rather, President Barack Obama in. In these instances, the leader should forces. Many would agree that he need-
provided some meaningful lessons on not delegate too early in the process. lessly threw away a significant amount of
leadership during his first few weeks in In most structures, the person on top political capital that would have been ex-
office. Those who spend a little time ana- has the broadest and longest-range view. tremely useful in managing change over
lyzing the news from our nation’s capital Without this view, it is unlikely that an the next four years.
can readily observe these leadership prin- initiative will be as comprehensive or Truthfully, many of these problems
ciples and the lessons to be learned as well developed as needed. Consider would surface with any individual
• Principle #1 — A good leader the economic stimulus package — the with limited executive experience that
surrounds himself with good people. All president allowed Democratic leaders of has ascended into a leadership role.
great leaders know that they need strong Congress to formulate a sizable portion Whatever the cause of these missteps,
people that they can rely on. This requires of the plan. Consequently, our economy, President Obama has provided clear
choosing individuals that are smart, dili- which is in dire need of infrastructure lessons to leaders at all levels. In leader-
gent, and trustworthy. President Obama’s spending, will see huge sums spent on ship, as with many subjects, it is impor-
nominations of Geithner, Daschle, and social programs that will have limited tant to learn what not to do, in order to
Richardson indicate that he did an incom- impact on improving our economy, but be successful. With the current state of
plete job of researching candidates for top will probably help many members of the world economy, we should all hope
positions. Congress get reelected. Delegating in that business leaders and President
The issue is further complicated as this manner can make a leader appear as Obama would learn from his early mis-
Timothy Geithner was the only member if he does not fully grasp nor care about takes. q
of this trio to be confirmed. His personal the issues at hand.
failure to pay all of his taxes over a four- • Principle #3 — Learn how to man- David H. Panasci is president of DHP
year period made him a questionable age your opposition. Simply, do not un- Consulting, LLC, in Camillus. Contact
choice to enforce America’s tax code as necessarily antagonize the enemy. There Panasci at (315) 468-8655 or visit his Web
Secretary of the Treasury. Even the presi- is a time to talk tough to the enemy; and site at www.dhpconsulting.com