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Structure • Posted: Jan 23, 2009 09:47:00Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Is it necessary for our new leader to make every single decision, approve every single plan, solve every single problem along the way? Is it even possible? Likely not.

Certainly, our new President will take the heat should governmental efforts fail. But does that imply he should have been more involved at an earlier stage? Likely it does.

So what is the point of balance?

A great many studies of leadership support the notion that effective leaders successfully delegate responsibilities for certain decisions to subordinates, rather than make the decisions themselves. But in doing so, have they abdicated their power, abdicated their responsibilities to constituents? Not necessarily if they have made a clear prior enunciation of both objectives and policy.

Objectives describe the outcome and consequences to be sought. Policy outlines the methods to be employed. The intent is that such objectives and policies should guide and inform the decisions to be made by subordinates. Problems arise if the objectives aren't realistic relative to the issues being addressed. Problems also arise if policies prove inadequate or unworkable, or produce unforeseen and undesirable consequences. Efforts will also fail if chosen subordinates prove inept or corrupt. We saw all of these problems come to the surface within the Bush era. In fact, we were swimming in such problems the entire time he was in office.

Early indications are that President Obama is making a very serious effort to build a wise and effective structure for his administration, with extremely careful consideration of personnel, objectives, and policy. Even so, conservative pundits continue in earnest attempts to sow the seeds of doubt. Much of it nonsense, to be sure, as opposed to honest and earnestly constructive debate. But one can't help but wonder how much energy and effort will be frivolously drained from this administration and its supportive citizenry in attempts to counter the potentially subversive weeds of doubt that could spring from such sneering foundationless self-serving aspersions.

The nation's welfare would be far better served with honest debate.

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007