Comment 38948

By Kiely (registered) | Posted March 21, 2010 at 16:31:13

Leadership still comes down to the two tenets of Machiavellian leadership: love and fear... and it is easier to be feared.

A successful leader should be loved (in modern terms I would say respected) by his followers and feared by his opponents and possible successors, (i.e., councilors). Successful Mayors rarely have councilors speak out against them because they fear the consequences. That is what is needed in Hamilton, a Mayor with vision that is loved and feared. Mayor Eisenberger seems to be able to muster some love from the citizens of Hamilton but he has shown no ability to control council and in very simple terms that comes down to a lack of fear on the part of councilors. Councilors in this city don't even seem to think twice about getting on their soap boxes and shooting their mouths off.

If the Mayor can acquire the respect and votes of a wide spread majority of Hamiltonians through communicating his vision, then local councilors would fear opposing him for fear of losing votes. Mayor Eisenberger needs to drop the 24/7 nice guy act and begin the often two-pronged and at times bi-polar job of leadership. If the Mayor does not agree with statements made by councilors he should be publicly challenging them. He should be constantly communicating his vision for the city and attacking all opinions to the contrary. Politics is not a good-guy's game. I hear a lot about consensus building, but the time for consensus building comes once dissention is quelled, (i.e., you need to stop disagreeing before you can start agreeing). That is going to require massive change to the current situation at city hall and more often than not in dysfunctional political forums changes are made through brute force not being the nice guy. Mayor Eisenberger should have been laying the ground work for this throughout this political term, so this fall citizens could have the opportunity to decide who's vision they want to follow. Helping citizens sort out what councilors stand for what and why is part of the Mayor's job. Unfortunately this has not been done and changes this fall may be wishful thinking or of the kneejerk variety.

The tenets of love and fear may seem overly simple, and some of the tactics required somewhat distasteful, but there is a reason people still read "The Prince" and many people have achieved great power and accomplished broad changes by following Machiavelli's basic tenets… It really is how it works and has been for hundreds of years.

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