New Orleans Needs a Leader

Where’s Jack Welch when you need him?

I’m not one to rant and rave on a blog, but tonight I have to speak out about the lack of leadership in New Orleans because it is painfully and horribly evident.

News reports show the telling signs of leaderless police and demoralized medical workers.

And the same goes for the victims, who have had no communication whatsoever, and have seen no leaders visibile anywhere, are reacting the only way they can. They are crying and begging for help. They are frantic, panicked, incredulous, desperate. They are taking matters into their own hands. And that’s just the ones who are not looting.

Anyone with any kind of management experience immediately recognizes the situation.

It’s a total absence of leadership on the ground. No leadership, no direction, no communication.

In this case I don’t fault the mayor or even the governor. No politician at that level can be prepared for an event of this magnitude. They don’t have the staff, the resources, or the experience to deal with something like this.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), however, is a different matter altogether. It’s their job to be prepared and to manage relief efforts in natural disasters like this.

The final straw for me was when I saw the FEMA Director on the news this afternoon, first reacting in a defensive manner and insisting that the victims had plenty of food and water and supplies, when news channel after news channel was reporting just the opposite.

And then next I saw him blythely brushing aside a reporter’s question about the reactions of frantic victims, by saying “they’re frustrated.”

You think?

Someone like a Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, or another strong leader would be welcome in a situation like this. Someone to take charge.

After this situation is stablized, let’s hope President Bush has a chat with the FEMA Director about “pursuing other career opportunities.”