When a sports team continues to lose games the owner eventually will decide to make a change. Since the owner can’t afford to fire all the players on the team, he or she will typically fire the manager. “We the People” of this Republic are the owners of the team America, the President is the manager, and the players are Congress. After one antagonistic and unproductive Congressional session after another, the current manager and players have demonstrated that they are not capable of working together for the best interests of the team and ownership: the American people. As one part owner of this team, I’m personally tired of all the excuses made by the manager and players for their failures and the perpetual blaming of each other for their own ineptitude and failure to perform. If it was possible, I’d fire all of them, the manager and the players, because I’m weary of the rhetoric and posturing by all of them. There is enough blame for the ongoing national gridlock to cover both the President and the Congress, and this latest budget battle is just another example of their irreconcilable differences.
While the President and Congress proclaim to have the best interests of our nation at heart as they rip each other to political pieces, they cannot come together long enough to fund the government and deal with the national debt crisis. At stake are the credit rating of the United States and the ability of our politicians to act responsibly and take bipartisan action to generate a fiscal plan which seriously deals with our immense national debt. We can’t afford politically engineered gridlock by small groups of politicians who are bound and determined to hold the government hostage by creating repeated budget crises in order to advance their own narrow viewpoint. We need great leadership that is selfless and puts the needs of America and the people above all else to include party ideology. We must always remember that this country was built on compromise and a solemn recognition of differing points of view where no one individual or political party has a monopoly on the truth and the right path for America. Our leaders must find common ground and craft compromises that encompass the needs of this nation and not political parties and personal crusades.
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a human resources director. Mr. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a provocative and useful guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. This book describes the art of leadership including how to deal with poor managers that can cripple an organization.
For more information about Paul Okum and Leadership DNA, visit