Clarkistan: Comparing Madore, Mielke, and Benton To Vladimir Putin

I have studied leadership for twenty years, and as a workforce participant for over forty years I have experienced both good and bad leadership. I have seen people hired into important positions that had absolutely no technical skill required to accomplish the job. On top of that they did not have the necessary people skills to influence people to accomplish goals associated with required tasks.

Research has shown that certain behaviors are associated with good leadership, and other behaviors create a reduced organizational performance. When leadership attempts to bolster “individual desire” versus “organizational good” it can result in something less than stellar.

Where this is clearly seen is in the public forum, when an individual’s desire becomes prominent, leading to the negation of good public leadership. Vladimir Putin is a classic example of how good leadership can evolve into bad when personal agendas are viewed as what is best for civic life.

Several years ago Putin enjoy the highest popularity ratings in the world but things have changed. Monday evening thousands of protestors hit the bricks in Moscow, Russia to protest to demand an end to the rule of Putin and the release of political prisoners. According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal as many as 20,000 protestors were voicing their opinion. They chanted “Russia will be free,” and “Russia without Putin.” There were no incidents, but leaders of the protest movement warned they are in for a long fight. Putin, who is an ex-KGB officer, and his government, have been suspected of murdering or arresting opposition leaders.

Comparing Putin with Madore, Mielke and Benton is very extreme, I know that, but when government oversteps its role, free people have the right to speak up; thus my reason for comparing the cronyism of Madore, Mielke and Benton to the Russian government.

I wasn’t going to write about this event again, until I saw the paper this morning and Benton was pictured going to work this morning, acting as if nothing was wrong. On top of that you have Madore trying to pass the blame to Barron for not changing the job description which infuriated me. It reminded me of a Clint Eastwood movie named “Absolute Power.” In that movie the President has an affair with the wife of the man who helped him win the Presidency, and during a rough sexual encounter between the wife and the President the Secret Service shoot the woman. During a press conference the President, played by Gene Hackman tells the very rich man, played by E.G. Marshall, how sorry he was for the death of his wife and that he was like a father to him. This is when Clint Eastwood’s character, who watched the press conference and was appalled at the lie, decides to take the President down, and expose him because of his duplicity.

But the morning’s paper got me to thinking about the event again and the similarities of Putin’s government and ours in Clarkistan. Putin’s cronyism is well documented. In Putin’s government there is a “ubiquitous and open merging of business and civil service, with a healthy dose of relatives in high places.” The dynamic duo of Clarkistan seem to be following the same play book as Putin.

Putin is trying to eliminate any healthy and democratic debate. He is doing this by shutting down journalistic investigation, and arresting opposition. Madore and Mielke just fire employees they want to replace with their friends.

I know people might say this is an extreme comparison, and I probably am reaching a bit. But the fact is, the best leadership encourages debate and discussion, maybe even a devil’s advocate who states something is wrong, instead of a groupthink when no one questions process.

Madore is a businessman that probably runs his business just like he wants to run county business. Madore’s business is not a democracy, he is the owner and has the right to run his business anyway he wants. If I don’t like it then I can quit and go to work some place else. But when it comes to county politics, the commissioners cannot ignore policy for their own purpose. Policy is put in place to protect the people to ensure we get the best political outcomes possible.

When political leaders ignore process, and we don’t step up and say something, then we will get a Putin, and end up a Clarkistan, which I don’t think any of us want. Tonight at 6pm there is a public meeting with the commissioners. I am sure it will be a packed house.

And that is my thought for the day!




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