08 September 2006

Leader With a Capital "L"

I begin with a few notes:

---Who's #1 in "jenius genius"? Modesty forbids mentioning Me, so I won't.

---Who's #1 for "career growth and commitment"? Modesty hell: Me.

---Who's #1 for "jenius people"? Not Me; I'm #2.

---Who's #1 for "cheat jenius"? Okay, Me, but it's not what you think. It's not.

---Who's #1 for "jenius coyote"? Moi. Make up your own Fool joke here.

What kind of leader does Puerto Rico need?

Because of the ridiculous dependence on government, if ever a Leader--one worthy of capitalization--emerges on Our island, he or she would have to be a governor, one who hearkens back to the image of Luis Muñoz Marín. (Forget politics here for a moment and think "leader." We haven't had one since.) But because history shapes the figures of its time, what kind of leader would Our 21st century demand?

1) Male: Sorry, ladies, but Puerto Rico is still rooted in testosterone and macho crap. Take comfort in the fact that it means that most of Our men are scared of you.

2) Non-Black: Who was Our last Leader with black skin? Roberto Clemente, and only for a short timespan. Think I'm wrong? Check out the power structure in government and private enterprises and remember that in the last census, 87% of Us said We were "white."

3) Under 50: Better yet, under 40. (Age, not IQ.) Though the largest voting bloc is 60+, the largest potential growth is in the under-30 crowd. And the under-30 crowd is just aching to have one of their own kick butt.

4) Mediagenic: Not necessarily handsome, but at least presentable. Preferably with a distinctive "defect" that makes him less threatening to men and endearing to women, like big ears or being slightly cross-eyed. You think I jest. Ask women if they and their friends voted for Pedro "Crookedness Is My Business" Rosselló because he actually knew something worthwhile. And he is cross-eyed, especially in the moral sense.

5) Angry: Whoever seeks to be Our Leader has to convey Our anger, not in words, but in emotions. Muñoz Marín was humble, when all We conveyed was humility. Now We're angry and scared. Our Leader has to convey that anger to allay Our fears.

6) Gregarious: Forget "the common touch": this Leader has to crave being with the people. Although this would ultimately hinder his long-term effectiveness, this Leader can only galvanize Us if he genuinely IS one of Us, not some plasticized, isolated lunkhead snuffling for cash. (By which I eliminate every current Fool from the "Leader" market.)

7) Tunnel-visioned: We can't handle visionary leadership because We are not visionaries. We have small dreams and small goals. Whatever Leader emerges has to focus on only a few areas and make those areas Our "big goals." No "transformation" or "revolution": just down-the-middle momentum. It will take a decade or so to make Us realize that We are Our enemy and thus make the effort to get out of Our Own way.

8) Short-termed: We don't need a "governor-for-life", what We need is a governor FOR Life, one who understands that Life requires renewal for growth and doesn't wish to cling to power like a leech on an ox's neck. If Muñoz Marín left a legacy, it was in his willingness to "step down." Whoever emerges as Leader must be a man who knows his time is self-limited and thus has his mind focused on results and his heart beating with urgency.

Will We see that Leader emerge? I wish I could say yes. I may be inclined to say no. But I do know that many will try and almost--almost--all will fail. I guess that means yes. I hope it doesn't mean too late.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

Luis Munoz Marin....a man that found possibilities far from his political beliefs or the benefit of his people.

Another great leader....actually a woman, Felisa Rincon de Gautier.

I don't know Jenius, maybe you ought to be our Leader....pleeeease

Anonymous said...

*for the benefit...

Sorry, not all of us are geniuses you know.