Monday, June 06, 2005

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Lee Iacocca was famous for the slogan, "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way." I suggest that this is not a great way to spur productivity from folks who are not in a position to lead. Most certainly, we can't all be leaders. I have used an alternative slogan for many years while conducting team building workshops and ropes courses.
Lead, or become a good follower.
There are good times to become a follower, and perhaps when the leadership is powerful and good, we might jump on that train. For example, maybe we could be doing more in several African countries by following other governments that are doing it better than we are.

Next month could be a historic turning point for the more than 300 million Africans who live on less than a dollar a day. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain has been busily lining up international support for his proposal to attack poverty in Africa by ramping up foreign aid. Serious studies commissioned by the British government and the United Nations have identified promising new paths toward economic and human development. The leading nations of Europe have pledged long-term financial support. Leading entertainers like Madonna, Bono, Will Smith and Elton John have announced a set of simultaneous concerts to take place in London, Rome, Berlin and Philadelphia to mobilize grass-roots enthusiasm.

Only one crucial element is still missing - the wholehearted support of the United States government. Unless President Bush joins this effort in the five weeks remaining before the summit meeting to be held in July in Scotland, Africa's hopes will be disappointed and America's image in the eyes of a world that once looked to it for enlightened leadership will be further diminished.

Mr. Blair will be in Washington this week trying to persuade Mr. Bush to do the right thing.

This really should be a no-brainer. At a time when the image of the United States abroad is at rock bottom in many parts of the globe, President Bush could go a long way toward re-establishing the world's richest country as the moral leader it was in the last century. He can do that by supporting his most reliable international ally in this crucial effort and taking to heart the world's poorest and most wretched place.

End Slice

Do you think John Bolton, if appointed to the UN Post, would encourage or discourage the involvement of our government in this cause?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Help Africa? How about not standing on their necks?

Every time we send food aid it puts an African farmer out of business.

Money perpetuates the status quo. If that's what you want, sending money to African governments is a sure way to get it. The continent needs a Fidel Castro a lot more than it needs US dollars.