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Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert, a public-interest attorney and journalist, is the Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership.

Put the fishermen to work

Q: President Obama finally meets this week with BP chief Tony Hayward on the Gulf oil spill. From a leadership perspective, which man has been the less effective in his handling of the crisis? What should he have done differently?

This is like comparing a goldfish swimming in a home aquarium to the humpback whale that migrates from polar to subtropical waters. They are not swimming in the same pond.

Tony "I Want My life Back" Hayward is a textbook case on how not to handle a crisis. When his company's negligence has likely caused the death of eleven workers in the Gulf explosion, whining about wanting his life back virtually guarantees that he will be the punch line of late-night comics on both sides of the Atlantic. Allocating a dividend to your shareholders while at the same time haggling over payments for relief efforts and to the fishermen who have been sidelined due to the spill is a monumental error.

BP should be doing all it can to demonstrate that it will fund all federal, state and local efforts to clean up this mess and put the local fishermen to work doing so as fast as possible. Hayward has not only led BP beyond petroleum, but beyond principles as well.

By Kathryn Kolbert

 |  June 14, 2010; 8:55 PM ET
Category:  Crisis leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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tripferguson1 and what has your comment got to do with anything? The head of BP is a Swede -any enlightening thoughts on what they do all day. The head of BP's American operations is wait for it an American - and they do what?

Posted by: 11OAKHAM | June 15, 2010 1:17 PM
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oops!sorry for typo

Posted by: tripferguson1 | June 15, 2010 9:32 AM
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Tony embarassed an entire nation with that remark. It reinforces the image of Brits sitting on their bums all day, drinking tea and asking for their pension chacks.

Posted by: tripferguson1 | June 15, 2010 9:32 AM
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