Polls show that most Americans are dissatisfied with the direction in which the country is heading. The electorate's frustration extends from the federal to state and local levels. Recently, forty of the WCA's leading business people -- a "brain trust" of sorts, met informally with Joseph M. Pastore, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Management at Pace University, to discuss the timely topic --- leadership...
Janet Hasson, and other WCA Board Members, tackle the nation's (and business') toughest problem: A lack of leadership.
According to Pastore, leaders usually emerge when a group perceives "an enemy." "What do you think is our enemy now?" he asked the group. The list was long: China, state capitalism, apathy, US immigration policy, politics as usual, consumerism, fraying of standards.
During the three-hour session, the following consensus emerged: most politicians are more concerned about getting elected than putting the public interest first, and bold leadership is desperately needed. The big question was, Where does leadership come from? The top? Voters? Grassroots movements? Managers? And what does it boil down to? The Big Idea? Bold action? Wisdom? Caution? Innovation?
Defining leadership as well as figuring out where and how it is needed is an endless fascinating, complex subject, one that is being urgently debated across the country. As determining how we move forward on the local level, in Westchester and New York, is of such importance, the group agreed to reconvene in the next two months. In the meantime, WCA's Call to Action Committee is also defining its 2012 action agenda.
Perhaps all this activity and discussion are pointing to one of the answers: Leadership is a product of what we demand and aspire to. Stay tuned!