MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Leadership Defined: Start with a Timetable

Even before going to Louisiana last week, I was learning of the growing public outcry for leadership in the recovery efforts. As I was preparing definitions of actionable steps for the Rights Recovery summit in Baton Rouge last Saturday, timing and immediacy became for me an explicit and necessary ingredient for leadership.

Whenever you hear plans about recovery, ask about a timetable. If someone wants to take a leadership role in recovery, work with them to develop a timetable.

Here's a short timetable that I operate under:

1. It is approximately 7 months until the start of the 2006 hurricane season. I think all recovery efforts should be viewed in context of the allocation of resources for short-term hurricane protection.

2. It is approximately 5 weeks until schools need to be opened - if there is intention for families to return to particular districts. If there aren't schools opened in Orleans Parish, for example, it becomes yet another barrier for families with children to return. Without schools in January, many families would not consider coming back until September 2006.

3. Starting for the next 5 weeks, a window will be open for private citizens around the country to help with recovery efforts. Unlike no other time during the calendar year, there are private citizens who will have discretionary time to volunteer their professional and non-professional skills for recovery efforts. Faith-based organizations as well as colleges and universities already have plans underway.

Best wishes for this holiday.


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