Harvesting leadership in Prairie politics

As summer turned to fall in Alberta recently, it also marked the beginning of the 2013 civic election campaigns across the province.

As summer turned to fall in Alberta recently, it also marked the beginning of the 2013 civic election campaigns across the province. It’s very appropriate that we have these elections at this time of year, when all throughout the Drumheller-Stettler constituency, the annual harvest is ongoing. These elections are a similar process.

In the process of choosing your local mayor, town council or county council, Alberta has many very capable and good leaders available. We just have to have the tools to harvest the crop and reap the benefits of good leadership.

These civic elections are an important opportunity for all of us to choose whether we want leadership or simply representation from the people we elect at a local level.

Peter Drucker, a famous 20th century writer, professor and a management consultant, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, once said that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

The decision about what the right thing is should be determined based on the will of the people who put the elected candidate in their respective position, not by what rewards the decision will reap for them personally.

Managing or simply doing things right ignores any possible changes that could be applied to achieve any forward progress. Leaders possess the vision that allows them to set their sights on the things that truly merit attention that will result in achieving positive progress.

Over the next short while, Albertans will have the opportunity through public forums to challenge their candidates and find out whether they intend on being leaders or representatives. The forums will allow the taxpayers the opportunity to pose questions to those running for office to clarify what kind of leadership they intend to provide.

Proper leadership allows the constituents to manage them, rather than them managing the constituents. This doesn’t mean they’re allowing themselves to be controlled, but rather this means being accountable to assure they’re being proactive to their constituents’ needs. Remembering that being accountable to others is a sign that a leader is focused more on your success than just their own.

We all play a part in leadership; it isn’t just making an X on a ballot that makes the mechanism of government work properly. Good government starts from the bottom and works its way up to and beyond the office held by an elected candidate.

In order to challenge the candidates on the ballot and determine who the real leaders are, it will require well thought-out and respectful questions being brought forward by the electorate. I encourage everyone to participate in this important mechanism of democracy wherever possible in these elections.

I would like to extend my sincerest best wishes to all the candidates that have put their names forward in their respective elections. By putting your name forward, you have already shown leadership.

If you have any questions concerning this column, please contact my office in Stettler or Drumheller.

— From The Legislature

 

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