What happened to that whole “the buck stops here” thing?

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker

To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. – Andre Malraux

…he that is greatest among you shall be your servant… – Matthew 23

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. –Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address


Yeah, I used that Lincoln quote in my last post, too. I keep coming back to Lincoln in my thoughts. Now THERE was a man who knew how to lead. He valued the sacrifices of others, was willing to make sacrifices himself, and was motivated by the desire to keep our nation united and the people who live in it free.  He had the courage to make the tough decisions, and he had the wisdom to know when the time had come to make those decisions.  Lincoln recognized that our nation didn’t belong to him, but that he belonged to it. He understood that he was a servant, and that the nation belonged “of the people, by the people, for the people…”


Soooo… have you all seen the video clip wherein Rep. Neugebauer – one of the legislators who voted to shut down our government – is telling a federal park ranger that SHE should be ashamed for turning people away from the gates to the federal park? – trying to make it sound like the poor ranger  is somehow to blame for this whole government kerfuffle? http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Congressman-Confronts-Park-Ranger-Over-Closed-WWII-Memorial-226209781.html

Thanks to Rep. Neugebauer and his legislative cohorts – that park ranger and 800,000 other federal employees are on unpaid furlough.  It is interesting to note that Rep. Neugebauer – also a federal employee – will continue to receive his salary. Yup. That’s right. He will continue to get paid for not doing his job.

And then there’s this fellow over at FOX news: “Fox Business host Stuart Varney believes that the ongoing government shutdown, while presenting no real threat to the economy, offers an opportunity to ‘punish’ federal workers for ‘living on our backs.'”  http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/03/foxs-varney-on-furloughed-federal-employees-i-w/196261


Federal employees include our military men and women, maintenance people, construction workers, secretaries, park and museum workers, librarians, scientists who work to protect our environment, disaster emergency workers – people who work very hard – sometimes at the sacrifice of life and limb – to protect us, inform us, and provide us with services.  And they are most certainly not parasites who “live on our backs.” Federal employees are public servants, not public slaves. They earn their salaries and deserve to be paid for their services – at least as much as our legislators.

Our senators and representatives are also supposed to be public servants.  We elected them to serve us. We are their employers. And when they are no longer serving us – when they are no longer doing their jobs – I’m thinking it is time for them to go.

What are the qualities that you want to see in  a nation’s leaders? Intelligence, responsibility, empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, selflessness, wisdom – these are all qualities I value in a leader. Mary Baker Eddy describes, in Prose Works, the type of individual I want representing me: “The upright man is guided by a fixed Principle, which destines him to do nothing but what is honorable, and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy; hence we find him ever the sane, – at all times the trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen…He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him, for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, – full of truth, candor, and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair, open, and direct one, and would much rather fail of success than attain it by reproachable means.”

Finger-pointing, blame-gaming, “passing the buck” – these are not indicative of good leadership.

“The buck stops here,” read a sign on President Truman’s desk. Now THAT’s what real leadership looks like.


“…he that is greatest among you shall be your servant…” – Matthew 23

“Pride and fear are unfit to bear the standard of Truth… ” – Mary Baker Eddy

“Love inspires,  illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to  speech and action.” – Mary Baker Eddy

1 thought on “What happened to that whole “the buck stops here” thing?

  1. Mary Baker Eddy
    Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts,
    February 7, 1910
    A Paean of Praise
    “Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a shining face.”

    The Christian Scientists at Mrs. Eddy’s home are
    the happiest group on earth. Their faces shine with
    the reflection of light and love; their footsteps are not
    weary; their thoughts are upward; their way is onward,
    and their light shines. The world is better for this
    happy group of Christian Scientists; Mrs. Eddy is hap‐
    pier because of them; God is glorified in His reflection
    of peace, love, joy.

    When will mankind awake to know their present owner‐
    ship of all good, and praise and love the spot where God
    dwells most conspicuously in His reflection of love and
    leadership? When will the world waken to the privilege
    of knowing God, the liberty and glory of His presence,
    — where

    “He plants His footsteps in the sea

    And rides upon the storm.”


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