Monday, July 29, 2013

Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should

Powerful leaders influence the world around them because their choices change lives. Unfortunately, the wisdom to exercise power effectively is always not always possessed by people. Consequently, we hear every week about a leader who has been caught doing something that seems to violate the “rules” for the rest of society.

This week's example is Huma Abedin. Huma is the wife of Anthony Weiner.  Huma is accused of double dipping at the taxpayer’s expense. She was paid a salary of $355,000.00 per year by a consulting company that Bill Clinton served on as a Board of Director while also serving as Hilary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff and right hand-woman during her election campaign. She was paid $135,000.00 to work on Hillary's team. It appears she was able to do so because she was granted a special employee status to work from home.

My suspicion is this will all pass a legal scrutiny. I think everyone checked the policies and procedures to ensure that Huma, Bill, and Hillary followed the stated rules, which allowed them each to make decisions within the purview of their positions.  They had the right to do it.

However, if leaders want to build a foundation of credibility of trust and confidence then they need to acknowledge that there are times to remember that just because you have the right to do something doesn't make it right to do.

Most people would view this situation as a way to skirt the rules to hook up a loyal vassal. We get it. But come on- why should the American taxpayer help supplement the Clinton's personal reward system? And if that's not the case- how could Huma do both jobs well?

Unchecked power corrupts. View each decision as if it will have to face the scrutiny of the public. Leaders make a series of choices. Do your best to do the right thing everyday.

by Mike Nally

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