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A Crisis Of Leadership

A Crisis Of Leadership

It has now been two months since the beginning of the lockdown here in Nevada.  Who would have believed seventy-five days ago that the world would be so radically changed in such a short period of time?  New phrases have become a permanent fixture in our national dialog: “social distancing”, “personal protective equipment”, “coronavirus”.  There is one phrase, however, which has not been listed yet, has as deep of an impact, and perhaps a more lasting one.  One which, if allowed to persist, will cause irreparable harm to our state, our communities, and our families.  That phrase: “Crisis of Leadership”.

Over these last sixty days, Governor Sisolak has exhibited some remarkable lapses in judgement, drops in communication, and evasion of responsibility which stretches the capacity of even the most ardent partisan to turn a blind eye.

Let us first define the role of the Governor of Nevada. The Governor is to serve as Chief Executive for the State of Nevada, a de facto CEO for our state.  As such, the Governor is charged with the proper implementation of the laws of Nevada as passed by the Legislature.  Additionally, the Governor is to marshal resources, when and as needed, to any and all emergency situations.  Implicit to this charge, is the need to clearly, concisely, and consistently communicate the current status of emergency actions taken during crisis situations.  In short: lead.

For a moment, let’s ignore the policy disagreements I may have with Governor Sisolak, of which there are many.  Let’s even ignore the insular nature of his team.  For now, for today, let’s focus on that core role of the Governor: leadership.

Leadership is not the abdication of constitutional responsibility to a third party.  Governor Sisolak, on three separate occasions released personal authority to a third party. First, the former CEO of the MGM to “coordinate response efforts between public and private entities”. Second, the creation of the LEAP commission, a confusing hodgepodge of overlapping agencies and two elected officials picked seemingly at random.  Lastly, in joining the commission of neighboring states in a thinly veiled attempt to draw political cover from other’s decisions.

Leadership is not scheduling and holding news conferences where confusion reigns supreme and contradictions abound from one sentence to the next.  Nor is leadership having no comprehensive strategy or vision for the crisis being discussed at the conference you schedule.

Leadership is not waiting nine days between discussions with the people of the State of Nevada, but yet making time to attend at least two national interviews: one to slam the mayor of a city in your state, and one to preempt your own, statewide press conference scheduled for the following day.

Leadership is not fomenting such utter and complete confusion that law abiding small business owners decide to take matters into their own hands rather than put up with another day of inaction.

Leadership is not telling people they must wait to receive their unemployment checks while you roam the halls of our capitol exercising no invention or innovation during a crisis.

Leadership is not hiding behind staff or a dictionary rather than a clear pronouncement of current and future state.

In contrast, let’s see where leadership has been proven in spades…

Leadership is demonstrated everyday by the parents who have had to balance helping their kids with stay-at-home schooling while looking for a job.

Leadership is the many business owners who have reinvented their businesses to keep their people employed one more day.

Leadership is the dozens and dozens of first responders who have gone out of their way to help our families and neighbors.

Leadership is the thousands of Nevada public and private employees adjusting daily to the shifting realities of a confusing world… made only more confusing by the erratic pronouncements of the administration in Carson City.

Leadership is the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Nevadans who have shown remarkable calm in the face of inactivity, callousness, and ineffective communication.

In short, the Governor has lurched from statement to statement, abdicated his role and authority, hidden from the world behind his staff, commissions, appointments… and the people of Nevada have themselves picked up the mantle of leadership. 

Governor Sisolak’s mantra today seems to be “there go my people, I must follow them for I am their leader.” (Ledru-Rollin)

In Nevada, we suffer from a Crisis of Leadership.  One which when left unchecked will drag Nevada’s families into economic stagnation, our businesses into ruin, and our state institutions into permanent disrepair.

Leaders lead.  Governor Sisolak, we need more than what you are capable of.  We need leadership… we need leaders.

In the coming weeks, we have a choice to make in who we send to Carson City to rebuild our state.  We can no more afford to allow this crisis of leadership to continue, than we can ignore the reality of 500,000 unemployed Nevadans.  We need people versed in the realities of business.  We need problem solvers.  We need leaders.  That is why I am running for Nevada’s Assembly District 31.  To help Nevada’s families, Nevada’s business community, we need people with a history of solving problems, not just posturing.  With nearly thirty years of Engineering and Executive Management experience, I am just such a person.  I ask for your support and vote for this upcoming election.

About The Author

David Espinosa

David Espinosa is an author, technologist, and father.

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