Letters to the Editor

Haley missing leadership qualities

The most gifted athletes rarely make good coaches, why? The answer is personal achievement versus team unity. Nor will the best teacher necessarily make the best head of the department; the skill of leading minds to learn is different than that of leading employees to utilize what they consider to be the best means of implementing educational focus. Therefore, it can be gathered that it is critical to distinguish between the skill of performance and the skill of leading the performance.

The trick is identifying those who are capable of learning leadership over time. All I’ve read says it can be said that those who do not feel the thrill of challenge do not possess the skills necessary to lead. True leaders have a constructive spirit of discontent. Some people would call this criticism, but there’s a big difference in being constructively discontent and being critical. If somebody says, “There’s got to be a better way to do this,” leadership ability can be spotted by asking, “Have you ever thought about what that better way might be?” If the person says no, that is being critical, not constructive. But if their answer is yes, they are challenged by a constructive spirit of discontent.

We have a leader in our state whose demeanor with the legislative bodies she works with is anything but constructive. While she has managed to keep a congenial, if tense, working relationship with the legislature, the incident where she tried to call these bodies back into session is likely to have a lasting impact on the relationship between the governor and the House and Senate.

A good leader always has and practices peer respect. Peer respect doesn’t reveal ability, but it can show character and personality. That determiner, the ability to command respect is crucial to effective leadership. As a leader, one weighs actions. Inasmuch as senators and representatives are elected to terms, common sense denotes pulling rank is not a constructive act with a group of individuals who have chosen to serve for a period.

The delicate balance between the freedom to serve the people and the freedom from the continuous bipartisan campaigning rhetoric of the governor is distracting, as well as demeaning for legislators. It is not practical, nor are these ideas of personally accrued ratings of political contemporaries. Rather this rating makes the leader’s role divisive.

Nikki Haley’s ideas are not practical. The resounding note coming from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s “Tax Relief Tour” earlier this year is a discussion about how, much like her predecessor Mark Sanford, she doesn’t work well with the legislature. She continuously makes moves that show her lack of compassion, empathy, and common sense.

What is the role of leadership here? Crucial roles are those which shape the future of our children: teachers, coaches, families, and communities, but Haley has also marched through the new state budget, cutting spending on teachers’ salaries, the arts, rape crisis centers and even a program to control head lice. How will Haley’s disregard for those crucial to the development of our children, our future, be viewed? Her actions have cast a shadow upon her professional competency. These cuts can best be described as hindering, not sustaining reform.

The dimensions of sustaining a leadership, worthy of sustaining, require strong partnerships, a voice in unison, vision and values for our future and goals, competency backed by knowledge and vigor, expertise, persistence, strength of character, maturity, common sense, and reliability. One cannot develop strong partnerships without empathy or knowledge. Character, common sense, maturity, common sense, and reliability fall to the wayside when the one voice speaks without empathy, or thought. Moreover, dedication to the people is, by this point, dead.

The writer lives in Loris.