We are blessed with the presence of inspiring leaders who bring people together to make remarkable achievements. Sadly we also observe leaders whose obsession is self-gratification. Good leaders have a worthy purpose while many leaders are out to empower themselves and have forgotten they serve in office to improve the quality of life for all the people.
I worked for some outstanding military leaders, coaches, teachers, and at Ford Motor Company. Dr. Edward Deming helped rebuild the Japanese Auto Industry after World War II and is still recognized years after his death as one the most inspiring leaders in Japanese Auto Industry history. US Auto Companies finally listened to Deming’s wisdom in the 1980’s and he taught us team building, and to strive for continuous improvement in quality. He was a legend in Statistical Process Control and emphasized training, and recognizing the importance of employees. Customer satisfaction and the value of products and services to customers were priorities. Don Peterson, CEO at Ford was responsible for getting Dr. Deming involved with Ford and Peterson was a visionary leader as well.
Since returning to Kentucky in 1997 some of my education, business, religion, and government friends share leadership ideas. We are consistent in our respect for State Auditor Adam Edelen. Three times we have heard him speak in recent months and we agree in our assessment of his leadership excellence. We are also most impressed with the job he and his team are doing in the State Auditor operation.
First, his message is understandable and effective. Second, his purpose is worthy and he advocates working together to improve the quality of life for our people. Third, he searches for facts and is action oriented and is not a procrastinator in avoiding needed action. Fourth, he has courage to hold people accountable. Fifth, he is studious and highly intelligent and surrounds himself with good people. Sixth, he believes in the team moving forward in achieving reasonable objectives. If you don’t move forward you can only stand still, move sideways, or go backwards. You don’t get anywhere with that leadership.
Government leadership is important not so much in creating complicated bureaucratic solutions to solve all problems but in inspiring people to join together in a team effort to use common sense to prioritize and solve problems. Adam Edelen cares about people. He leads by example. His leadership gives us hope. Hope kindles faith. Faith lifts us to higher ground. Adam is a leader that can move us forward.