What is a Leader??

Since the election is just arround the corner, I thought it appropriate to provide a lesson on leadership, since it is evident that the definition has no meaning to some up here.

Since some of the readers here are proposing a team approach to putting a council in place, it becomes primary to understand what a leader is.

Being the biased, annal retentive that I am, I have decided to post this definition of leadership traits and compare to Mayor Gwen Gilbert, who in my opinion fits the bill to a T.

Now I am sure, there are some ,that are going to argue the point and that is fair, however this is my opinion and it reflects what I see.

In choosing our next Council, I think that this definition, setting aside my obvious biased, can assist in defining who and what we want running this community. 

The increasing rate of change in the political environment is a major factor in this emphasis on leadership. Whereas in the past, politicians were expected to maintain the status quo in order to move ahead, new forces in the world have made it necessary to expand this narrow focus. The new leaders of tomorrow are visionary. They are both learners and teachers. Not only do they foresee paradigm changes in society, but they also have a strong sense of ethics and work to build integrity in their organizations.

Raymond Cattell, a pioneer in the field of personality assessment, developed the Leadership Potential equation in 1954. This equation, which was based on a study of military leaders, is used today to determine the traits which characterize an effective leader. The traits of an effective leader include the following:

  • Emotional stability. Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.
  • Mayor Gwen Gilbert has endured what i believe to be an incredible amount of stress and frustration over the past three years and is still standing and doing her job. Yes she vents, and ploughs on regardless of the sniping, name calling and personal attacks. Yes she does frustrate some but she does complete what she starts and does so regardless of the challanges she is faced with.
  • Dominance. Leaders are often times competitive and decisive and usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they are assertive in their thinking style as well as their attitude in dealing with others.
  • Mayor Gwen Gilbert, is a dominant personality. She is competitive and has the ability to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown at her. She is assertive in her thinking and presentation. This is amplified by the number of complaints people make about her. It is a necessary trait if one is to lead effectively.
  • Enthusiasm. Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive, and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be uninhibited.
  • I have seen MAyor Gwen Gilbert get fired up about something and there is no stopping her.She will accept change if a logical argument is presented, albeit the argument has to make sense to her. She is an optimist in that by example she believes she can work with the existing Council thinking that they will change. Gwen is quick, sharp as a tack, alert and very uninhibited. 
  • Conscientiousness. Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do one’s best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.
  • This is pretty much right on the head of the nail when discussing Mayor Gwen Gilbert.
  • Social boldness. Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. They are usually socially aggressive and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.
  • I cannot find a better definition of Mayor Gwen Gilbert.
  • Tough-mindedness. Good leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point. They tend to be low in sentimental attachments and comfortable with criticism. They are usually insensitive to hardship and overall, are very poised.
  • Now I will admit that Mayor Gwen Gilbert, could use some fine tuning on this point however she has made dramatic improvement over the last year in her ability to deal with the crap thrown at her by certain individuals. 
  • Self-assurance. Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally secure and free from guilt and are usually unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.
  • Yet again  this pretty much defines May Gwen Gilbert to the letter.
  • Compulsiveness. Leaders were found to be controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they were very protective of their integrity and reputation and consequently tended to be socially aware and careful, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.
  • I don’t think there is anyone on Council that better fits this trait then Mayor Gwen Gilbert.

Beyond these basic traits, leaders of today must also possess traits which will help them motivate others and lead them in new directions. Leaders of the future must be able to envision the future and convince others that their vision is worth following. To do this, they must have the following personality traits:

  • High energy. Long hours and some travel are usually a prerequisite for leadership positions.
  • Gwen Gilbert is always working. The hours she spend and the amount of travel is tiring just watching her.
  • Intuitiveness. Rapid changes in the world today combined with information overload result in an inability to “know” everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning to the value of using their intuition and trusting their own instincts when making decisions.
  • That one speaks for itself when talking of Gwen Gilbert.
  • Maturity. To be a good leader, personal power and recognition must be secondary to the development of your employees. In other words, maturity is based on recognizing that more can be accomplished by empowering others than can be by ruling others.
  • OK Gwen does have a tendency to be a little more Dominant than some would prefer, however, she has made huge steps in the last year or so. She will never lent down on incompetents though.
  • Team orientation.Leaders today put a strong emphasis on team work. Instead of promoting an adult/child relationship with their employees, leaders create an adult/adult relationship which fosters team cohesiveness.
  • The fact of the matter is, when in a situation where some players are the “I” in team. It is more efficient to remove them that to try to overcome their back door games. Given the fact that a lot of the players here have shown that they have their own agenda’s and loyalties to others with a fixed mandate contrary to the objectives and benefit of the community as a whole, they must be removed from the equasion.Only then can you begin building a team and foster growth.
  • Empathy. Being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is a key trait of leaders. Without empathy, you can’t build trust. And without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.
  • See above.
  • Charisma. People usually perceive leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a large part in this perception. Leaders who have charisma are able to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them. Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.
  • I believe it has been hard for Mayor Gwen Gilbert to display her Charisma in that, every single time she has, she has been berated by a few. Yet she keeps trying and doesn’t give up. I think that she has the vision and does try to motivate, but because of conflicting agendas with the few her efforts are underplayed and overly suppressed.
  • Personal traits play a major role in determining who will and who will not be comfortable leading others. However, it is important to remember that people are forever learning and changing. Leaders are rarely (if ever) born. Circumstances and persistence are major components in the developmental process of any leader.
  • By the very fact that Gwen Gilbert has not quit in frustration, and maintained her course she has proven that she is willing to learn and accept change. Given the circumstances that we all have witnessed, Gwen Gilbert has proven that she is in fact a leader and in my opinion, should be given the opportunity to capitalize on the progress she has made over the last few years.

In summary, albeit you may or may not agree with what I have written with respect to Mayor Gwen Gilbert, that fact remains that we live in a changing world. Our leaders must deal with an overwhelming amount of challanges. If they do not have the tools to fulfill the objective then they will fail.When they fail we fail and pay the price.

It is our responsibility to vote into place people that have the tools. If we do not vote responsibly or at all, then we get back what we put out. Elections are not popularity contests. They are about choosing leaders with the traits that are necessary to fufill our expectations and objectives, not those of special interest groups.

I believe that we the voters have failed in the assesment of those who we have elected and are living with the result.

 Think long and hard about where you place your support as your future and the future of your children depend on it.

Just in case nobdy knew or noticed I SUPPORT GWEN GILBERT!



Ana the Banana

The following is a posting by the Martian, a regular contributor to this page. I might point out that the Martian is an adamant none supporter of Mayor Gwen Gilbert and Councilor Art King to say the least.

“Thursday, April-9-2009

Formal Complaint to Mayor Gilbert and Council

The aggressive verbal behaviour in the work place towards myself by Councillor Art King started in the fall of2008 and continues to the present day. This aggressive verbal behaviour of Councillor Art King is not only affecting my health, but also my performance to carry on the duties as elected official and it is on or bordering harassment in the workplace. His behaviour towards myself was observed and commented on by several Councillors, on several prior occasions. However, the latest incident on the 8th of April, 2009, at the COW meeting came to a head when Councillor Art King in the heat of his own unprovoked anger called me a “nitwit” (stupid). When I indicated to the Mayor this was not acceptable, that I have taken great offence to the remarks of Councillor Art King, instead of addressing this in a serious manner, as the Chair of the meeting, and applying the Town of South Bruce Peninsula policy #C4.2 Mayor Gilbert laughed and asked Councillor Art King to apologize. The laughing conduct of the
Mayor, in this situation, did not help but rather encouraged the inappropriate behaviour. The behaviour of Councillor Art King that I experienced and inappropriate action of Mayor Gilbert in my work place is not acceptable and down right illegal.
Therefore I ask Mayor Gilbert and the Council to implement the Town of South Bruce Peninsula’s harassment policy #C-4.2 accordingly, and if you choose not to and if verbal aggressive behaviour of Councillor Art King continues, I will not have any other choice but alternative routes to protect my value and dignity.

councillor Ana Vukovic

The Martian said:                                                                                                  

Now please keep in mind that Ana can sometimes be difficult to understand because of her ethnicty and she is many things, but she is not a “nitwit”! The worst I can say about her is: there are those who listen and those who wait to speak and she’s not a great listener.”

 When I read the letter posted, I knew there was another side of the story and contrary to my usual boorish, crass, eighth grader mentality, I went into town and had a chat with several people, who in fact witnessed the event described in Vukovic’s complaint.

Now before I go into this matter, I want to say that Anna Vukovic, has served this community for a long time. She has the best of intentions and truly believes in what she is doing most of the time. I believe that in her time she was a powerhouse, that did indeed make significant contributions to her community and society as a whole. However, even the best horse you have must at some point be put to pastureI am afraid that Anna’s time has come. She has failing health and is in over her head. The trials and tribulations of the last three years have left her bitter and confused

The fact of the matter is that Mr. King did not call Ana a “nitwit”! He called her a “Half-wit” subsequent to her calling Mr. King a “Shit-Bag” and an “Asshole” at the Council table. I believe Mr. Wunderlick can attest to what was said. What comes to mind is: “if you can’t take it don’t dish it out!”

I have watched Anna perform in Council and wondered who signed her geriatric pass.

The Mayor chuckled at the situation, when Ana wanted King censured. So would I quite frankly. It seems what is good for the Goose is not so good for the Gander. The mayor did instruct King to apologize, which was appropriate.

Now I  don’t condone the actions of King, things could have been handled in a much better way. However, given the history of the last three years in general, there is probably no better way at this point in time.

To suggest that Vukovic, may bring a lawsuit to enforce her position, is lunacy! Should she do so, it would end up costing her not the town. A suit of this nature would be considered “Frivolous and Vexatious” by any sane Court.

I have had, and I use the term loosely, the privilege of viewing the House of Commons on several occasions. Our illustrious leaders there, make these clowns look like Choir Boys. Suffice to say, name calling and mockery appears to be part of the game.

To paint the kettle black is a clear indication that Ana, has past her prime and is ready for pasture. Quite frankly, Anna if you cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen!

Maybe that is her intent and she intends to bring an action to supplement her retirement.That being the case “FILL YOUR BOOTS!  BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU PUT OUT, YOU GET BACK”.

To ask the Mayor to support your position is just wrong. To write a letter complaining of harassment simply proves Mr. Kings point.





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