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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Colin Powell and when to follow the leader

My husband and I went this weekend to Colgate University, where our son Joe is a freshman, because Colin Powell was a guest speaker.
Powell's one hour in a packed field house was interesting if a bit rambling. He talked about what it's like being a relatively ordinary citizen after being a VIP who had gotten used to literally receiving the red carpet treatment, about public service and about leadership.
However, he didn't just talk about leaders. He emphasized that it's the "followers" who get the job done, and that these people need direction and deserve recognition.
He didn't get into any heavy or specific issues, like what he told President Bush about going to war in Iraq.
But the general did address, in general terms, how a person can reconcile disagreeing with his boss's course of action. First, he said, it is the person's obligation to give his honest opinion. Then it is the person's obligation to abide by the boss's decision, whether he agrees with it or not, or to step down if he finds the decision morally repugnant.


Blogger muldoonmedia said...

In other words, no matter what, Colin Powell tells us to go along to get along?

No thanks, I won't defend the people in Washington or Albany or anywhere else, and yes I know because I don't go along I will be considered a terrorist by some, but as a individualist, I know better.

All 'follow the leader' mentality does is, defends those who promote war, torture and everything else that degrades this country.

But don't worry, the sheeple will march along like good little soldiers and hold on to Mr. Powell's every word.

May 19, 2009 at 10:26 AM 

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