The man is 61 years old. He has been in and out of public office, appointed to government positions, a public crusader, and a so called reformer. The Chicago SunTimes, which endorsed Pat Quinn for governor, poses the question; “Can this sentimental, idiosyncratic, rabble-rouser mature into an effective chief executive?”
The head line reads- “Can Governor Quinn manage establishment he built his career on assailing.”
It is a little late to ask those questions. Even in a puff piece about the governor’s humble abode in Chicago and his penny pinching lifestyle, going back to his youth.
One does not mature into an effective chief executive. By definition, a chief executive is a leader. One is either a leader or not. Quinn is not. He has proven that time and again, over his almost two year reign in office.
Chief executives are leaders. They have all the responsibility. They take all the blame. Something Quinn refuses to do. When things go wrong, they fix them. Something Quinn is incapable of doing.
Leaders live by quantifiable metrics and measurement. They demand accountability and are accountable. They dig in when the going gets tough. They roll up their sleeves and help do the hard jobs. Leaders just are not counted in, they are counted on.
In their quest for the brass ring at the top- fame, fortune, power- true leaders seek out more and more responsibility. They must continually live in the real world, with their feet firmly planted on the ground. They learn decisiveness at an early stage in their lives and develop that trait as they mature.
It is a little late to mature into a decisive leader at 61 years of age- especially when you have done a poor job so far. Quinn was handed the brass ring. He, like his disastrous predecessor, never did anything to earn it. Quinn’s political and public life has been one of irresponsibility and fecklessness. He is nothing but a gadfly- an irritant.
Pat Quinn spent his whole political career and capital battling government. He became a mediocre warrior, with some successes. He was never a leader, he never sought out more and more responsibility, and he never matured into a decisive person. He is a flip flopping fence sitter.
Subordinates look to the leader for direction. Quinn has none. Leaders blaze new trails. Quinn is perpetually lost in the woods. The leaders attitude is- why not me? Quinn’s attitude is why me? We have been asking the same question- why Quinn? Leaders define themselves. Quinn has no definition.
To answer the Sun Times question, sentimental, idiosyncratic rabble-rousers, are not leaders. They are sentimental, idiosyncratic, rabble-rousers. 61 years of age- and a lifetime in politics- is a little late in the game to mature as a leader. Especially when Quinn has never been one.