Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the burden of leadership

I attended a very interesting roundtable in D.C. recently where a main item of discussion was the necessity of economic development organizations and their leadership to have working relationships with their members of Congress.

It was claimed many members of Congress either (1) do not fully understand the role of technology and innovation in the development of regional economies, or (2) even if they do "get it", don't have the time to sit down with economic development officials because of priorities to other people and causes.

And that's the challenge - having leaders in office who understand what is critical for the future of a local region in a global economy, and using their macro-perspective to gauge the situation and adapt as necessary - qualities needed by all who serve, from a councilperson to the governor.

That lack of macro-perspective and ability to anticipate and assist the future needs of a region is exactly why leadership matters.

The great tragedy of Youngstown's past Congressional leadership was its inability to prepare a region for the future. That's why we as a region are twenty years behind other regions in some matters.

Not that that awesome responsibility should lie in the hands of one person, but the burden of leadership is to take the hard steps to ensure the growth and prosperity of future generations - and not the growth and prosperity of your own wallet and ego. Very little of the personas on local talk radio seem to comprehend this fact.

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It's difficult penning this particular post without sounding like a political endorsement, but I'm writing what is on my mind today.

David Brooks in the New York Times had a great op-ed today about the changing economy, the anxiety it produces, and the necessity for politicians to talk about some issues and not other critical ones.

After reading David's thoughts and the contemplating the conversations I hear from others across the nation about the lacking leadership in their localities, seeing these videos this morning brought a smile to my face:

no more editorial here, just a smile.

1 comment:

Keith said...

That facebook video is classic; I've never be prouder to have this man as my Congressman.

"*****n' poke yourself!"