Legislative Reflections II


Legislative reflections II

In last week's blog, I wrote about the first level of legislative reflections based upon the experience of being a freshman legislator.

This week, I would like to reflect on the nature of different styles and kinds of leadership as I saw the manifested this past term.

Clearly as an educational leader I have been fortunate. I have been able to be a teacher, a department chair, or a principal for a total of 42 years. In all those experiences of my career, I found that there is always a relationship between the leader in the follower, and it is important that the leader maintain care and concern and stewardship both for the institution and for the people who work in it.

Baker discusses leadership is having a quality of "eudamomia," and I like the criterion that he uses to apply to leaders by saying that leaders are developed from within the community to become leaders of the community with the care for that community. Baker details the give and take of what it means to be a leader representing a group of people.

Peter Block writes about leadership from the perspective of a business person who is interested in stewardship for the enterprise. His perspective is that a good business leader really takes care that all of the people who work for that business have a vested interest in the success of that business. I so often think of the model of stewardship offered by Lamey-Wellahan shoes - a place where the CEO earns a salary based on the lowest paid person, not a salary based on company earnings. I often ask "How many more times does the CEO of a company make than its lowest paid employee?"

I wonder often about government, particularly about the political forces in  Maine's government.  I saw greater interest in budgetary solvency from our leadership than I did in the stewardship for the people who reside here. There are times when it seemed that profit was more important that people. There are times when it seemed that the welfare of the treasury was more important then the welfare of the citizens. We currently have a huge budgetary surplus, but our children lack health care in schools.  Is that wise?

What happens to the quality of stewardship in this situation?

When the state government is not interested in the health of the population, or the employment of its population,or the success of its population, then  we have a real problem.  That's not stewardship, that's selfishness.

If we were being good stewards for the state's population in Maine, we would see that an investment in our own citizens is an investment in our state. That investment should involve all state government -  including healthcare, education, energy resources, employment and the environment.

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