Effective leaders know they have two prime accountabilities; the technical management of their organizations and more critically, the creation of a culture. Culture creates the context that guides expertise. Culture is how your constituency knows what to do when there is a gap in the “rules”.
Effective leadership knows that behavior, words, decisions and your definition of expectations is, ultimately, more important than the “rules”. Leadership, at its essence, is a reflection of the morality you bring to the table. Leadership recognizes and engages facts no matter the difficulties that those facts may represent.
Two assassinated Police Officers in New York City are representatives of the horrific failure of leadership there.
The facts are that African Americans are more so in jeopardy to other African Americans than they are to police. The facts are that Messrs. Garner and Brown were resisting police; had that not been the case they would be alive today. The facts are that the N.Y.P.D. is 60% minority.
The fact is that when you as a leader create a public context in support of a culture that insists on a narrative absent facts cops and others die. Leaders empower behaviors by word and deed.
The progression is clear to see in New York; cops standing to their duty as they are spit on, standing to their posts as illegal demonstrations are allowed to inhibit access and impair public safety. Cops abused as they stand to protect their abusers.
The Black community has valid issues: family cohesion, education, opportunity and yes actual racism, none of which has been effectively addressed by self-designated leaders. Killing cops won’t solve those issues, violence won’t solve those issues, spitting on cops won’t solve those issues and the predictable backlash won’t solve those issues.
Leadership matters; in New York Mayor DiBlasio sided with a narrative absent a factual context. A narrative representative of a point of view guaranteed to fan passions, hatred and the justification of grievance, both real and imagined.
If indeed leadership values represent a moral center, Mayor DiBlasio stands accused.