Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Leadership in Public Service

One of my pre-campaign advisers suggested that I agree with everyone about everything to win the popular vote by being popular.  If a person asks what I think about something controversial, I can answer with a question.  “That is an important question.  I am glad you brought it up.  What do YOU think, sir?”  Then, depending on the response, I could simply agree.  “When in Rome….”  Or Boulder.

Obviously, much of what I write is “tongue in cheek,”  including my pre-campaign strategizing.  Today I want to bring up something more serious.

I admire many people who serve those of us in the general public by running for office, which is difficult for many reasons, and serving the public trust by wrestling with the issues of the day and actually providing leadership, including proclaiming values based on deeply held religious beliefs.

John F. Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage before he was President.  It is about risking unpopularity by choices made while in office.

Rebecca Hamilton is an Oklahoma legislator who has written about political pressures.

We have a representative form of government which requires people whom we elect to spend time using their judgement on all sorts of issues that affect the rest of us.   Government budgets are necessary but boring.  It requires absorbing information and making decisions.  Most of us in the general public do not want to spend the time studying the issues.  We let our elected officials worry about that stuff.  We also let them take the heat after the fact.  We can criticize them with hindsight similar to that of Monday Morning Quarterbacks.  If you think that you can do a better job than Peyton Manning, show your stuff.  If you think you can do a better job than the elected legislators or governors, run for office.

Today I thank those who serve our government in many ways that I do not.

I admire those who lead rather than merely try to please.


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4 thoughts on “Leadership in Public Service

  1. I’m with you on this statement “I admire those who lead rather than merely try to please.”

    For what it’s worth, I think you are just the man for that Senate seat…..

    Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  2. I am just funnin’ about runnin’ my mythical campaign, but I appreciate your kind words of support, Kenny.

  3. Jeanne Thoms on said:

    Hi Alan,

    Good points re public service!

    A quick question, unrelated to your post: Do you help people with estate planning? We just met a next-door neighbor here in Loveland (literally, we could shake hands with him and his wife if we both opened our side windows) who hails from western Nebraska (near Scotts Bluff). I mentioned that we had met you and your wife shortly after moving here, and that you are from western Nebraska. He asked your name and wondered if you work with estate planning.

    Tom (neighbor) says that he and wife had an attorney who worked in Fort Collins and Cheyenne. He liked him because he was a “no nonsense” kind of guy. This past year his attorney died from a heart attack. He says that he has all the paperwork, but that it just needs an update. If you like, I’ll give him your business card. Obviously no offense if you don’t get into estate planning.



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