Fresh Political Blood
Business leaders should "hang on" as long as they are effective, at the discretion of a company's board of directors or shareholders. This is all about accountability and performance measurements, which tend to be cut and dry. It's a basic question of accountability, and there is nothing magic about this equation.
I would rather address the question, "How long should our elected officials--even effective ones--hang on?" As I read American history, our founding fathers intended our elected officials to selflessly serve their country or state, for one or two terms, at wages that would discourage one from making representation a career.
As originally envisioned, the task of representing one's constituents was not intended to be glamorous or easy, and certainly not line the pockets of those entrusted with this huge responsibility. Pay was intended to be adequate to cover expenses. The intent was to serve one or two terms in Congress, then return to one's profession. The idea was to elect people to serve in Washington, and in my case Albany, as our representatives, not leaders. Indeed, the majority of today's elected officials are not qualified to lead.
Over the decades, our system went very wrong. People are now drawn to service for all the wrong reasons, and as a consequence, special interest groups own the process and far too many of our elected officials. "We the people" have abrogated our basic rights and responsibilities. Unless and until we fix the process, to include term limits and campaign finance reform, our democracy will continue to head in the wrong direction with the wrong people in charge.
In my mind, this is the fundamental issue today, not whether Anne Mulcahy served too long or whether Xerox in my hometown counteracted this tendency.
Posted by: okme | May 30, 2009 6:07 PM
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