Sometimes you can see the train wreck coming from miles away. The good people of The New York Times provided such a warning to the voters of New York City today in a front page article on Brooklyn congressman, Anthony Weiner. The five term incumbent is running for mayor of New York in the upcoming election. If Weiner wins without first changing his leadership style, we may be looking at the greatest municipal disaster since Nero fiddled away while Rome burned.
With the highest staff turnover rate of any member of the New York delegation, Weiner, by his own admission, regularly demonstrates the following behaviors:
• Yelling, screaming and cursing
• Slamming phones and banging tables
• Micromanaging his staff with constant queries delivered via Blackberry
• Working on his Blackberry and documents while in meetings including in a public panel discussion he appeared in with the mayors of Miami, Honolulu and Buffalo
Wonder what the differences are between being one of 435 members of Congress and being the chief executive officer of one the world’s largest, most complex and prominent organizations? One of them would be that as mayor, you need a world class team that has the time and space to do what they do best. It’s no longer about the unadulterated wonderfulness of the leader, it’s about the effectiveness of the team. The best people vote with their feet. They have options. If they like it, they stay. If they don’t, they leave.
For Weiner to have any chance to succeed he’s going to have to let go of a lot of behaviors and mindsets that won’t work at the next level and pick up some new ones that will. At the end of the article, the Congressman proudly proclaims that he is setting an example with his tough but fair work ethic and that, “I don’t know anyone who works harder than me." Congressman, please, for the sake of your career and the health of your city, seek help now.