1.29.2007

Control Your Urge to Just Do Something

We Americans want our leaders to take action. Which is usually
unfortunate when it comes to government, because this urge to do
something often causes more harm than the problem in the first place.

You see, government is like a hammer, and the better solutions are
often a scalpel. Government can't help but dominate the podium, when
in fact it would be better for us private citizens to have a voice.

Natural disasters, corporate scandals, poverty - government has a role
to play at all levels and in profound ways. But way too quickly and
way too ineffectively, government "help" stifles private
responsibility and organizational nimbleness.

Effective is the political leader, then, who is courageous enough to
take on a problem head-on, caring enough to see it through, audacious
enough to think it can be solved . . . and humble enough not to use
the problem as an opportunity to prance and preen, humble enough to
act in a way that catalyzes and doesn't squelch.

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