Paid political letter: I value team leadership

Published 8:06 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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What do you value? What are your values? I value the leaders I have had in my life. Through the years, I have seen great coaches in high school sports. Each year a coach takes on a new team. They work with the people they have. Students want to be on a team with a good coach. At Albert Lea High School, I experienced the leadership of coaches Jerry Kaphers and Jim Gustafson.

Compare good coaching to leadership in business. Jim Collins wrote a book about leadership in business, “Good to Great.” A primary image he uses is a bus and bus driver. The job of the bus driver is to get the right people on the bus and to get them in the right seats. A great leader gets the right people on the team and gets them in the right seats.

Leaders coach others to be better leaders. I was in 4-H. One of the goals in that organization is to develop student leadership. In a high school sports team, the coach is the boss. In 4-H, the adult leaders sat back while the meetings were always led by students. Adults were leading us to be good leaders. I remember several leaders who guided me in 4-H with last names of Senske, Hovde, Nelson, Ness, Westerman and Wick.

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This is not the kind of leadership we see in the current administration. Donald Trump does not get the right people to start with. Donald Trump does not get them in the right places. The chief of staff is key in this part of leadership. Four different people have been selected and worked as chief of staff. Six different people have been selected and worked as communications director. Donald Trump simply does not lead leaders. He picks the wrong people and puts them in the wrong places. Here are four examples of what President Trump said after a person he chose left.

Chief of Staff John Kelly: “When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head.”

“with Jeff Sessions, it was a disaster. Just a total disaster. He was an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama.”

“President Donald Trump savaged his former chief strategist Steve Bannon on Wednesday, contending that ‘he not only lost his job’ but also ‘lost his mind.’”

“Rex Tillerson didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell.”

In President Trump’s own words, we see that he repeatedly chooses the wrong people and puts them in the wrong seat. Donald Trump does not develop a team. He expects individuals that obey him. There is a big, big difference.

If you value team leadership, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Vote for Tina Smith. Vote for veteran Dan Feehan. Vote for Thomas Martinez. Vote for Dan Sparks.

Joel Xavier