Guest MINDSETTER™ Deckman: Time for Sullivan to Resign
Thursday, February 15, 2018
There are two basic types of leaders.
Those who lead to serve others and those who lead to serve themselves. It is often difficult to know which leader is which type until a situation arises that forces the individual to play cards that reveal their true priorities.
In fact, often times the leader themselves may not truly know which category they fit into until challenged.
The current president of the RI Young Republicans, Mr. Robert Sullivan, is facing such a challenge now and he is beginning to reveal his true motivations for leading every moment that passes in which he doesn’t resign.
I have been in many leadership positions and have trained and coached many who wanted to become leaders. In my case and in the case of everyone I ever worked with we all, sooner or later, face such a watershed moment that forces us to both decide and reveal the type of leader we will be.
Those moments are never easy and they are always very telling. Because it is in those moments where one has to decide if their actions are going to be about self-preservation or the preservation of the institution the individuals they are charged with leading.
It is those moments that define whether or not the individual is capable of leading with authenticity, integrity, and respect or are if they lack all three. In other words: Do they “Lead with A.I.R.” or are they full of hot air.
In my view, true leadership is a state of consciousness. And that consciousness, at its core, lives and breathes A.I.R.
A true leader is not the one who is the boldest, brashest or most aggressive. And they certainly aren’t the one who is so desperate to have their position that they will damage the organization and the people around them in order to have power. Rather, a true leader is one who sees themselves as a steward of both the institution and the individuals who they have promised to help prosper. They are the one who is willing to sacrifice the most for the benefit of the most, even if it is painful and/or uncomfortable to them.
Mr. Sullivan has made some very bad mistakes as a young leader. He was unwise to engage in sexual relationships with a member of the group. He looked and probably was vindictive when he tried to force her out of the group when things went sideways. He then lied to the press on two occasions and the media has the tapes to prove it.
Every experienced leader started out as an inexperienced one. All of us have made mistakes along the way; some minor, some disastrous.
Mr. Sullivan’s mistakes no doubt fall into the disastrous category. For that reason, he must step down…immediately. If he doesn’t then the group owes it to themselves to remove him from office…immediately.
Many leadership missteps can be forgiven. Lying to the group and to the media, and then sticking to it in the face of all evidence, is not one of them. Worse than his lying though is that he is willing to do so at the expense of the good men and women who gave him the opportunity to have the honor to serve as their leader.
Mr. Sullivan, you have forever broken the trust of those who trusted you. You have sacrificed your integrity upon the altar of the ego. The price you must pay is that you no longer get to lead such an important group as the Young Republicans because at this point in your career you are not a leader.
In the meantime, your lack of integrity is costing them there’s.
You have one chance to get back on the path of growing into being an effective leader, which I truly hope you do. But to get on that path you must get off of the one you are on.
You must give up what you gave up when you made your choices. Do your mea-culpas. Become authentic again. Get back in integrity. Show some respect to others and in return regain some of the respect you lost for yourself.
Take your medicine and meet your consequences eye to eye. Accept them with whatever dignity you can muster. Then use this lesson to transform into a real leader.
But you have to walk away first. Which I hope you do. Then, I hope you come back wiser and better. Because society desperately needs experienced leaders who have learned their lessons the hard way. Which is how we all learn them.
But please don’t come back until you do.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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