Sunday, February 07, 2010

Executive Leadership

All entities—public and private—operate better when executive leadership is vested in one person, when all can see that at some point, someone is responsible.

The opening paragraph of one of the most important books on executive leadership, The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker, says it all:

“To be effective is the job of the executive. “To effect” and “to execute” are, after all, near–synonyms. Whether he works in a business or in a hospital, in a government agency or in a labor union, in a university or in the army, the executive is, first of all, expected to get the right things done. And this is simply that he is expected to be effective.” (p. 1)

In the continuing search for creating publically elected executive leadership within Sacramento's city government, this column from Marcos Breton in the Sacramento Bee reports on the current status.

An excerpt.

“Danny DeVito was once Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie twin. Mayor Kevin Johnson is becoming Schwarzenegger's political twin.

“They were celebrities elected to political office on a wave of optimism that was soon undermined by inexperience and a gantlet of opponents, unions and lawsuits.

“Right now, it appears that Johnson's big plans for shaking up Sacramento's power structure are dead.

“He tried placing a ballot initiative before voters that would have greatly enhanced his powers as mayor. A local union leader sued to stop him and won.

“Even though some aspects of Johnson's plan were troubling – such as having the city attorney and city manager report to him instead of the full council – there is a flip side here:

“The city of Sacramento is stagnant. And a single leader is prevented from taking bold steps to shake up the status quo.

“The city charter is written so that power is spread thinly between bureaucrats and elected officials. California's Constitution states that major changes to a charter can be placed on a public ballot only by a City Council vote or by an elected charter commission. That was the ruling of a Superior Court judge who tossed "strong mayor" off the June ballot.”