Thursday, May 17, 2007


What ever happened to individuality? So often I hear of people being chastised for not saluting the greater concept. Employers want team players so people bend and give up on their convictions to the like minded goals that is generally dictated by what the leaders say is the vision of their future.

I especially like it when someone comes forward from within an organization and spews their contrary opinion. Most memorable was when a County Road Crew employee, I think his name is Wheatley, laid into the then Road Manager, Randy Trevillian in a well worded letter to the Editor of the Daily Astorian. Trevillian was up to some dirty work at the time which I will not go into here and now. This letter writer was someone who was not afraid of the repercussions of bringing an alternate truth to the surface. He stuck his neck out and said his piece.

More recently Karen Mellin, Clatsop Community Board member, wrote a letter to the Editor highlighting all the attempts the college has made over the years to push through a bond for a new campus and how the college stopped listening to the public years ago. She spoke of her opposition to this because of what the public voices to her. This is no election year stunt by Mellin since her term isn’t up until 2009. She is a board member who had her cries covered up by the majority of peers in her circle. Karen is not one to goose step with the others. She is doing the job that the voters asked her to do. So far the college has failed to fund a bond for a new campus at MERTS, Down Town, John Warren Field, and a cow pasture in Warrenton. It is time to stop all the bond madness and move onto plan B. Or is this now plan E? Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We can't afford to keep learning on these bond issues. Move on...

Personally I do think we need a new campus, but not for the reasons being presented by the present board. For me it is the energy concern. The old campus has tens of thousands of square feet of single paned glass and little if any insulation in walls or ceilings. The heating cost can be cut drastically with new energy efficient buildings and heat sources.

Still, with my opinion aside, I totally respect what Mellin and Wheatley have done. I love it when people stand of against the smoky back rooms, good-old-boy network and the way things have always been done in the past. These people have leadership skills because they have no fear. A lack of fear can often be a bad thing, but when used in conjunction with what it right, it becomes golden.

If you hear the words, “Shared Governance” coming from someone in your organization; run for your life. This phrase comes from a weak leader who is afraid to make an unpopular decision. It turns everyone into a stakeholder and promotes like mindedness. When something goes bad all stakeholders are to blame and share this blame equally along with the leader.

This is not to say that a good leader shouldn’t ask for advice; they should always seek the council of others. However, they alone are at the top of the food chain and they alone should render a decision and take the praise or condemnation that follows.

Ask yourself if you are a leader. Would you write a letter to the Editor about an injustice you see in your workplace or in a civic organization to which you belong? Most people wouldn’t. I salute the individuals out there who dare to be individuals and leaders.


Blogger Donna said...

Reminds me of the hot water Jimmy Carter lately got himself in by voicing his opinion in his latest book. I love Jimmy Carter.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

I believe you'd like it here, where this Old Indian decided to retire. We still have strong local gov't in the form of Town Meetings most places. My town has balloting now, but ballot items must be approved for inclusion at 'special' town meetings. My relatives mostly still reside on the Indian Lands, which aren't reservations, but semi-autonomous areas with self-rule. No BIA allowed! Capital crimes are handled in Federal Court, the rest by the Tribes. We and the Navajo made peace before having to surrender, and thus retained our lands and rights. Love the blog & visit when I can.

3:31 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Hey, Mike! Thanks for visiting. Nothing like small towns and how things get done in them. I see you are in Maine. Has black fly season started yet?

Donna, Porr Jimmy. No one listened to himwhen he was in the White House and now the get pissed when he says something.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

The little buggers are in full swing. It's 2AM and 30F/raining right now so maybe it'll stun the little suckers a bit. Still got summer with the B-52 mosquitos to go though. Plus the deer/moose flies and all their other nasty little pesky relatives:)

11:30 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mike, check out this article I wrote a while back.


8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen Mellin is a true heroine in my book. She spoke the honest and genuine truth about the campus situation. I am truly disgusted when I hear her demonized by certain college employees.

9:47 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The College Board hasn't had a member like her since Arthur Draper. He was another one who spoke his mind regardles what popular opinion was.

11:24 AM  

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