Editorial: Leadership: Without sensationalizing, it is important

Leadership.

We spend our lives looking for it. Even when great heights in careers and business have been achieved, we should continue to look for leaders. When we have reached the level where we’ve been given the awesome responsibility of leading others, it would behoove each and every leader to keep looking for leaders.

It’s important to have leaders in life, regardless of your age, because of what they offer. People aren’t perfect and they have their faults, but the good leaders are always growing and wanting to develop the characteristics they lack.

A characteristic I always look for and study in a person who wants to be in leadership is accountability. When a leader’s team deserves kudos and a team member has earned the accolades, does the leader accept the praise without doling it out to whom it belongs?

Furthermore, when things go south on a leader, does the leader downplay his or her responsibility in the circumstance? Does the leader transfer responsibility to take the heat off?

It’s important to consider the characteristics of leadership because we are asked to vote for leaders almost all the time as American citizens. We vote for presidents, state and federal senators, state and federal representatives, governors and other state office positions, county supervisors and other county office holders, city council members and mayors.

If you have any length of a voting history, you have more than likely been disappointed by a candidate you voted for when he or she has reached office. I’m sure we share disappointments in candidates we didn’t vote for who have turned out to be exactly what was feared at election time.

And so it was that I had become anxious for Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It was the first meeting since Councilman Stuart Yocum was arrested for DUI May 31.

I was anxious because I wanted to see what kind of leader we had in Yocum.

Like a lot of the people who I have talked with since the meeting, I was disappointed.

The leader I was looking for wouldn’t have cast aside his arrest as an “incident.” I suppose he should get kudos for calling his incident “regrettable” and “unfortunate.”

The leader I was looking for wouldn’t have blamed the media for “sensationalizing” a city councilman’s arrest for DUI. In fact, the leader I was looking for wouldn’t have blamed anyone or anything but himself.

The leader I was looking for would not have brought anyone else into the conversation. Even when, at best, the councilman was trying to educate his constituents on the dangers of drinking and driving, he left himself out of the conversation.

“If YOU (emphasis mine) are going to get behind the wheel,” Yocum said at the meeting, “don’t even drink one.”

This isn’t about me, Mr. Councilman. This is about you.

The leader I was looking for would have been contrite, humbled and embarrassed. I didn’t see that leader.

I was told that after his brief statement “… we can move forward.” Yes, we can move forward, Mr. Councilman. It would be best if the City of Kingman moved forward without you.

There are a lot of big decisions that this council needs to make in the upcoming months about our future. Kingman needs clear thinking and smart choices. It’s become obvious we won’t be getting that from you, Mr. Councilman.

Kingman needs leaders.