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Bob Schoultz
Naval/Academic leader

Bob Schoultz

Captain Bob Schoultz (U.S. Navy, Ret.) directs the Master of Science in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration.

Some force-fed humility

Question: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week confronted a dilemma faced by many leaders: whether to step aside when things go wrong. What should be the criteria guiding such a decision? Did Pelosi make the right choice? Should she have offered to resign but let her caucus make the decision? What about Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid?

Congresswoman Pelosi has lost credibility by insisting on remaining the head of the Democratic caucus in the wake of the recent elections. By 'fighting' to stay in the limelight, she leaves the impression that her agenda is more about her than about the things she claims to believe in. A more credible and humble approach would be to make herself available to serve should the others in her party want her leadership, but willing to step down if that is in the best interest in the Party and the Democratic agenda.

Criteria to step down? That is easy--what is being served, and how best to serve? We are always challenged to take our personal, ego-driven interests out of that equation. If one seeks to lead, then it should be humbly and at the invitation of those being led and whose interest one is expected to serve. Her decision to seek to continue her leadership role certainly raises questions about her humility, as well as what she is actually serving. We'll see how much support she gets from her fellow Democrats.

If she didn't get the hint after the elections last week, she may get force-fed some humility...

By Bob Schoultz

 |  November 8, 2010; 5:39 PM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals , Congressional leadership , Failures , Government leadership , Leadership personalities , Leadership weaknesses , Political leadership , Politics , Women in Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I'm sure Captain Schoultz is a gentleman, a patriot, and extremely intelligent.

Quite often, however, when one person accuses another of a lack of 'humility', they are projecting those traits they themselves possess.

I'm a also quite sure the Captain is making not just a few assumptions, based on almost no first-hand knowledge, but rather on his own predispositions and prejudices.

Does anyone really think that Leader Pelosi, who has presided over the most productive House ever, against almost impossible odds, hasn't thought very deeply and sought the counsel of her many close friends and advisors before deciding to stay and fight?

Please, Captain, think more deeply before you so glibly and cavalierly judge others.

Posted by: StevenK3 | November 11, 2010 6:16 PM
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P.S. Would you believe District Chophouse also has a brewery?

Posted by: jobandon | November 11, 2010 9:52 AM
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A guy can overlook one mistake, when it happens again it's time to complain. You can complain to her or about her, she's still boss. The question is for how long. I hear the District Chophouse is great.

Posted by: jobandon | November 11, 2010 9:49 AM
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"Humility" is not in Pelosi's vocabulary.

Count me among those that opposed her policies but wish for the good of the country that she were leaving. With her leading the House Democrats we are assured of more partisanship and more distractions from the issues at stake in favor of personalities. She also strengthens the hands of Republicans when it would be better for us if they worried more about holding the center.

Posted by: robert17 | November 10, 2010 6:51 PM
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Personally, I think the Democratic party lost because of the arrogance they displayed in forcing Obamacare on a divided electorate. If Obama/Pelosi/Reid had shown any humility in the process, instead of focusing on their place in history, it would not have passed and the party's losses would have been lessened.

Posted by: bruce18 | November 10, 2010 4:57 PM
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"she did an outstanding job and a lot was accomplished"

Since she serves for the public at the behest of the public, it is the electorate that judges if she did a good job.

She's like the coach of a team that has had a two years of almost continuous losses. It doesn't matter that certain players like her. She isn't following the will of the people she serves and the people have indicated as strongly as possible that they won't tolerate her form of leadership anymore.

In a partisan way, I hope she stays, because I believe she is a lightening rod that will take down Obama, the Democrats and the Senate in 2012.

By the rules of the House, she is entitled to seek the position. Democrats who vote for her must surely understand the people will remember that vote in 2 years. That 2 years will go quickly, too.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 10, 2010 1:22 AM
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While I agree that it is time for new leadership, she did an outstanding job and a lot was accomplished. You somehow managed to miss that. I'm sure it was an oversight.

Put into perspective the results and you will find much was fear based.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | November 9, 2010 7:25 PM
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