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Andy Stern
Labor leader

Andy Stern

Andy Stern is president of the two-million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America.

'Let's make a deal' culture

I think it is important to differentiate among leadership, principled decision making, and an institution that creates a distorted and potentially toxic governing model.

Democratic organizations are created to represent people's interests and solve collective problems. Rules exist to facilitate -- not frustrate -- debate.

When institutional rules are used to bend the will of majorities to the wishes of each individual, leaders find themselves governing for individual rather than common interests. It promotes a "Let's Make A Deal" culture.

Prohibiting debates, other than on any individuals terms, is not leadership or democracy. The Senate has adopted a very dangerous operating style that threatens America's ability to debate the serious issue it confronts.

An army of change can be converted to an army of one. Common good can give way to self-serving, self-righteous, and potentially corrupt behavior.

The Senate should hit reset and realize that 60 votes and the right to debate is a gift. Senators must create a new value proposition that fosters debate and deliberation before their actions bring a very negative electoral reaction.

By Andy Stern

 |  December 23, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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