Showing posts with label leadership. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leadership. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How Do Our Leaders Make Tough Decisions?

Our guest writer today is Roger Carlton, columnist for The Graham Star newspaper in Robbinsville, NC. Thank you, Roger, for more thought provoking words.  
Roger Carlton

The higher up you are in government the tougher the crisis management job. Mayors and County officials must make local decisions like closing certain roads and how much to invest in emergency medical services. Governors must make state-wide decisions like closing schools and limiting the number of people who can gather. The President must decide how to allocate critical supplies like ventilators and face masks, when to activate medical ships and where to send them and shutting down airports.

President Truman decided to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing or maiming more than 200,000 people. This ended World War II and saved more than 1 million lives if we had to invade Japan. He famously said "The buck stops here." Attorney General Janet Reno mishandled a crisis when she blew up 76 Branch Dividians near Waco Texas. She accepted responsibility and moved on.

 The Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans failed when they allowed Mardi Gras to go on and are now paying the price. Their strategy was cry that they weren't warned. Local officials in South Florida and the Governor blew it when they allowed spring breakers to mingle on the beaches. Unfortunately the hotel and restaurant lobby overcame the medical experts. Florida is paying the price now.

More than three years ago, this column was about the election of President Trump and a concept known as "loyal opposition." This means that he was our president and while you may not support his policies and actions, he was still our president and leader. During the past three years, his ability to earn respect and support has been an inverted Bell Curve. Straight down to a Pollyanna ignoring of the expert warnings of a pandemic and then straight up to supporting three relief bills and then down again with a thinking out loud blunder suggesting a quarantine of nearly 20 million people in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Overall, to be fair, his performance has improved and that is showing in his approval ratings.

Suggesting that we need to get people back into churches by Easter and get the economy going is a difficult choice. If we lessen the current strictures on our lives, many more people will die from the virus than necessary. There may also be a lessening of the risks to our economy if the 3.2 million people who filed for unemployment last week and millions more this week, might begin to be able to go back to work.  Dying people and their grieving families versus people who can't put food on the table. How would you like to have to make that choice?

The thought process that most top leaders follow is called "utilitarianism."  Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Hobbes all influenced this thinking in the late 1700's  when the Industrial Revolution was tearing up traditional societal norms. Utilitarianism instructs leaders that ethical decision making is creating the greatest good for the greatest number of people. To make decisions in this context requires expertise, contemplation and empathy. It also steps on justice and individual rights. Tough stuff when you think about it.

We must remain hopeful. This too will end and then we can evaluate which leader did well and which did not. Each of us can do our part by being responsible with precautions. We must support and thank our first responders who are at risk and the workers in stores that remain open who are also 

Monday, September 7, 2015

How Leadership Helps You as a Writer - Seven Tips

Leaders become influencers. Leaders pave the way for themselves and others.


If you are a writer, it is likely you don’t want the limelight. You work best in the quiet of your own space. You don’t need people around and you don’t want to be bothered. You are happy working on your book – whatever it may be.
But eventually you have to think about what you will do when the book is finished, published or ready to be read by the public. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just mail the manuscript to someone who would take over and print it, promote it, sell it, and send you a big fat check each month? You could just write and write and never leave the house.

I see many writers who believe that is the life of an author. Sadly, that's one of the myths the public has believed for years. In today’s world the author must be seen and heard. The author is the one who markets his/her book.

Painless methods an author can use to reach an audience. Take on a role of leadership. Don’t volunteer for more than you feel comfortable doing, but try the following suggestions.


  1. If there is a writing organization in your town or area, join and attend the events. If you don't feel you will gain any new knowledge, you will likely be surprised. You can offer encouragement and good advice. People will remember how you make them feel.
  2. Find ways you can serve the organization – lead a critique group, become the helper to the leader, and if there is no job, make one, then do it.
  3. Offer to do the publicity for your writing group. Write articles about the members and publish them in the local newspapers with your name listed as guest writer. Be the one to put your local literary group on the map. Use photos with each article.
  4. Join your state literary group. Connect with the leadership and staff. Call or email and tell them that you appreciate their work for members. 
  5. Become a mentor for beginning writers. Don’t fear being unprepared. If you have been writing long enough to complete a book manuscript, you know more than a fledgling wanna-be poet or writer.  
  6. Hold an open mic event in a local coffee shop or book store once a month. Write an article for the local newspapers about who attends and who reads, and be sure to write about the event on social media. 
  7. Promote other writers and poets on social media. Be generous with your appreciation and congratulations to writers you know. Send notes or emails when you hear of someone's successes. Write to authors and tell them how much you enjoy their books or stories you have read. In your signature on your email, be sure to list your position with your organization.


Karen Paul Holmes joined NCWN West after taking a poetry class taught by Nancy Simpson, original leader of NCWN West.

 Karen Paul Holmes now leads Writers Night Out, another writing group in Atlanta, and serves writers in North Georgia as NCWN representative. She is also a member of the Georgia Poetry Society. She schedules readings throughout the mountains and in Atlanta. Her first poetry book, Untying the Knot, was recently published, and the book is getting much-deserved attention. 

Karen connected with poets on Social Media who then offered to interview her and promote her book through their blogs and websites. Through NCWN Karen networked with other influential writers, too. Karen promotes other poets and supports literary organizations online. She is a perfect example of what I am writing about today. 

Writers today must build a reputation with the public in order to build a readership for their work. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Take Advantage of Leadership - Read These 7 Tips

If you are a writer, it is likely you don’t want the limelight. You work best in the quiet of your own space. You don’t need people around and you don’t want to be bothered. You are happy working on your book – whatever it may be.

But eventually you have to think about what you will do when the book is finished, published or ready to be read by the public. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just mail the manuscript to someone who would take over and print it, promote it, sell it, and send you a big fat check each month? You could just write and write and never leave the house.

I see many writers who seem to think that is the life of an author. Sadly, that is one of the myths the public has believed for years. In today’s world the author must be seen and heard. The author is the one who markets his/her book.

I want to suggest some painless methods an author can use to reach an audience. Take on a role of leadership. Don’t volunteer for more than you feel comfortable doing, but try the following suggestions.
  1. If there is a writing organization in your town or area, join and attend the events.
  2. Find ways you can help the organization – lead a critique group, become the helper to the leader, and if there is no job, make one that you want to do, then do it.
  3. Offer to do the publicity for your writing group. Write articles on the members and publish them in the local newspapers with your name listed as the writer. Be the one to put your local literary group on the map. Use photos with each article.
  4. Join your state literary group. Know the leaders and call them or email them with suggestions of how they might best serve their members. Better—call or email and tell them what a great job they are doing for the members.
  5. Become a mentor for beginning writers. 
  6. Hold an open mic event in a local coffee shop or book store once a month. Write an article for the local newspapers about who attends and who reads, and be sure the event is on social media with your name attached.
  7. As soon as you feel you are ready, volunteer for a major leadership position in a literary organization. When your name is well-recognized, your book will soon follow. Be sure you make as many speeches or appear at as many events as possible where you can mention your book. 
Tell me what you think of these ideas. Do you think they would help you?

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