Monday, April 30, 2012

Craig Spinks: Leadership? Augusta

Augusta needs more leaders like Dr. Azziz
Monday,  April 30, 2012
Augusta, GA
By, Dr. Craig Spinks, ED. D

Leadership is a human trait about which much has been written and even more has been said. That successful societies require leadership is common sensical. That leadership training is the focus of so much professional development activities suggests, however, that this trait is not widespread. That leadership is not widespread is a premise with which most people on the street would agree. Even a blind person could see that this premise holds true in our hometown.

Why? Why are there so few leaders, generally, and so few in Augusta, particularly?

Might I offer a disquieting explanation? "There isn't much courage in Augusta, GA." Please follow my line of thought.

While leadership gurus may disagree on the definition of leadership and the characteristics of those exhibiting it, they do agree on one aspect. Leaders have courage; leadership involves the ability to take courageous actions- their effects upon the leader notwithstanding. How many "leaders" in Augusta act bravely? How many reputed leaders meekly "go along to get along" with Billy, Paul and their minions?

I can think of two outstanding example of Augusta leaders, however. But they are dissimilar in many other ways. One is short, stocky and bespectacled; the other is tall and thin. One is a native of South America; the other was born in Louisiana. One is a physician by training; the other a soldier. One came to town to head our medical school; the other was brought here by Uncle Sam.

But they do share a profession: Education. And that's not their sole commonality. They're both courageous visionaries who seek to bring excellence to their respective educational institutions. Unfortunately, the profession and their pursuit of excellence are not the only things they have in common. Another commonality is their facing among Augusta's "leadership" myopic procrastinators whose visions for the GHSU and the RCSS extend no further than the direct impact of these institutions upon their personal bank accounts.

Where will you stand? Will you stand with Rick Azziz and his vision of Augusta's possessing a nationally-ranked university with campuses spread around town? Will you stand with Wayne Frazier and his vision of high school graduates ready for citizenship and leadership?

Or will you stand with Augusta's traditional "leadership" and from the Ripken-Morris-Simon-Copenhaver Stadium Complex watch the 21st Century flow right down the Savannah River past "The Garden City of The South?"***
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