Friday, Aug 01, 2014
Columns

Myers: Where are we headed?


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Any time an individual is placed in a leadership position, he should explain where he intends to take the organization and how he intends to get there. That might sound rather basic, but all too often it doesn't happen. The leader assumes the people know what the organization is expected to accomplish and therefore there is no need for explanations.

How many of you ever have had a new boss explain what his philosophy of leadership was? I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that my leaders explained theirs. In one case, I was thrilled to listen to the boss talk about what he intended to do and how he was going to do it. Unfortunately, they were only empty words because he did the exact opposite and that was obvious in a relatively short period of time. Thankfully, I was near the end of my tour and did not have to suffer long.

There are countless ways to achieve goals, but the first task is to outline what the goals are. In sports, the main goal is to win. New coaches typically start by bringing in their own assistants. They then outline what steps will be taken to improve on the previous record such as concentrating on defense and timing or perhaps stressing speed and teamwork. In business, quality is paramount and how to achieve it is critical. In the military, each service has its basic training followed by specific skill training both for the enlisted and the officers. Units are organized according to their assigned missions such as infantry, artillery, aviation, ship handling, and numerous other fields. Each unit is assigned the proper number of people with the various skills and off they go. Some units become superb while others are adequate at best. The difference depends on the leadership, starting at the top. The same is true in business and sports or any other field where people work in organizations. Government is the same.

Our country is blessed because the founding fathers went to great lengths in an effort to create a government that was responsive to the people and not any elite group. The Constitution was the road map for the government and especially with the Bill of Rights limiting the power of government it has stood the test of time. Each portion of the government checks other portions of government. Congress passes a law, and the president has the authority to veto it, but Congress can override the veto with a super majority. Once a law is signed by the president it is his responsibility to enforce it. The U.S. Supreme Court determines if a law is constitutional. This has worked for more than 200 years.

When President Obama was running for office, he said he wanted to fundamentally change the country. He didn't go into details, but we now have five years of his presidency to determine what he meant by looking at what he has done. The Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday that Obamacare will cause two million fewer full time jobs to be available in future years. It is a disincentive for working full time because government subsidies are quite large for poorer workers and decrease as they earn more money. If less money is being earned, then less federal taxes also will be collected by the federal government. That will place an additional brake on growing the economy and getting the country moving in a positive direction.

The president has continued to use executive orders to alter various laws that he does not agree with such as deporting young illegal aliens and requiring Catholic organizations to provide abortion insurance to its employees in violation of their religious beliefs. He also unilaterally changed implementation of different parts of Obamacare. Our Constitution does not allow that to occur, but so far no one has challenged the president. The latest polls show a huge majority believe the country is on the wrong track and trust of the president continues to fall. It is time for the administration to listen and change the direction the country is headed.

Donald Myers is a retired Marine colonel and regular contributor to Hernando Today. He can be reached at dmyersusmc@tampabay.rr.com.

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