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SPAGHETTI PUSHING LEADERSHIP

 

 

 

Coach Dave Daubenmire
July 13, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

In the early 1990s the school where I was employed was looking for a new principal. As the football coach and a parent of three children in the district, I was very interested in the direction our school was going to take and I saw the selection of our new leader as a very important decision. The superintendent and the board appointed a committee to interview candidates. Although they love to talk about getting the "community's input" in the selection process, the real purpose of the committee is to make sure they can spread the blame if the selection turns out to be a bust. It is a good way for those in authority to cover their own hind ends.

Realizing how important the job was, I made sure that I wiggled my way onto that panel. There were twelve of us, (plenty to blame if it turned out wrong) and most were looking out for their own interests, not those of the school. As each candidate took his turn before the group, I kept most of my powder dry, trying to do more listening than speaking. It became apparent that one of the candidates, and I couldn't figure out why, was the favorite of many in the group BEFORE he had even been interviewed. I had no pre-interview favorite; I wanted the best man, but more importantly, a real leader. One candidate really won my heart when one of the old buzzards on the committee, worried that she might have to work a little harder, or be challenged to teach a few more classes, asked him a question about how he might handle the issue of veteran teachers who were reaching the end of his/her career.

"Well," he said. "I guess I'll ride the stallions and shoot the nags."

"Wow!" I thought, "A man after my own heart." Needless to say, not everyone appreciated his frankness.

It soon became clear that one particular gentleman had enough support. He said all of the right things, at least in their ears, "tolerance, consensus, diversity, community, test scores," etc. But something didn't sit right with me. After listening to his well-practiced drivel for about 30 minutes, near the conclusion of the interview, I leaned forward and cut right through the crap.

"Let me ask you a question. This school is in great need of strong leadership. We have all of the resources necessary to really launch towards greatness. I heard Woody Hayes say at a football clinic a few years ago, 'You can pull boiled spaghetti a lot better than you can push it.' I've heard all of the things you have said, and most of it sounded pretty good, but the one question I have for you is this. Are you a spaghetti pusher or a spaghetti puller?"

He just stared blankly at me and smirked. He had no idea what I was talking about.

Most of the wet-spaghetti around the room liked him. He got the job. I knew we were in trouble. Today, as is so typical of our society, he is a superintendent of schools, a real consensus-following leader.

Where are the spaghetti pullers?

What is the difference, you might ask? Picture a pile of freshly boiled spaghetti sitting on your countertop. If you put your hands at the back of the pile and shove it, you will find that the spaghetti has a tendency to spread out in many different directions. Although it moves, it tends to spin, and is very difficult to get into the bowl. If somehow you can grab the front of the noodles and pull on them, you will find that the rest of the pile falls nicely in line.

You can pull spaghetti a lot better than you can push it.

There is a leadership vacuum all across America. Not in the business world. No, that is an area where leadership is rewarded. Bill Gates is a spaghetti puller. So is Donald Trump. Bill Parcells, Pat Riley, and most great coaches know which end of the pile to stand on. Simon Cowell, the judge on "The American Idol" is famous for telling it like it is. Americans love that, need that. His spaghetti-pulling has made him a millionaire.

But outside the business world, especially in the political/educational/religious world, we are moved in circles by spaghetti pushers, men who claim the title of "leader" but who are constantly in the back of the pack pushing on the noodles. No wonder Americans seem so directionless.

Congress is full of them, spaghetti pushers. With the exception of Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, name one national leader who is ever out-front on an issue. Social Security is going broke, so what do the "pushers" do? They take a poll, see what "the people" think, and then decide to do nothing about it. Too risky. They'd rather watch America run around in circles than stand up, speak up, and pull.

Come on now, think about it. Quickly allow a list of potential presidential candidates run through your mind. Can you name one who will get out front and pull? One who will lead the country in the direction we need to go? One who has a strong vision about where he/she wants to go and is tugging to drag everyone else along? Aren't most of today's leaders pushing the pile? See, they've gotten along in the public arena by being behind the pile, "leading" by consensus, holding a title that somehow convinces the noodles that they are the "authority" and providing leadership!

A popular phrase today is "grab the bull by the horns." Isn't that interesting? Which end are the horns on? When was the last time you heard someone say "push the bull by the butt"? The reason that doesn't work is, no matter how hard you push, the horns will determine where the butt goes; most likely in circles. Many thought that the Cowboy President understood how to handle bulls. Unfortunately, the polls have caused him to wilt like limp spaghetti, and he spends most of his time pushing the pile, while most in his Party stand silently behind him and watch America spin.

There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. How many can you name? Dennis Hastert is Speaker of the House. He seems to push a lot of spaghetti and prides himself on "reaching across the aisle." Most of the Congressmen that make the news are famous for breaking the law….DeLay, William Jefferson, Bob Ney. The rest in Congress just sit and stare at the pile of pasta, trying to figure out which direction the noodles would like to go. "The American people are for fairness…" as if fairness is leadership. And when was the last time they actually did what the American people wanted? "Close the borders will you, buddy?"

The US Senate has 100 members. Most are faceless, pompous, self-righteous cowards. "Mr. President, I would like to respond to my honorable colleague from Virginia…Blah, blah, blah. None of them follow the Constitution (I honestly doubt if they have read it), except when they want to pass unconstitutional legislation. Oh, then they talk about "rights," and "democracy" and my favorite, "the rule of law." What leader in America is fighting for what is right, rather than for what the noodles want?

Meanwhile, our government is bankrupt, our borders are over-run, private property is being stolen, and God is illegal.

But what can we do? The spaghetti pullers have a lock on the political process. They choose their national leaders--and they always choose the ones who have pushed the most spaghetti, or have pushed it the longest. The candidates talk a good game and say all the PC things, and then once elected, immediately move to their spot in back of the wet spaghetti.

Judge Roy Moore ran for governor of Alabama. Now there is a spaghetti puller. Alabama, the heart of the Bible Belt, instead chose a proven pasta-pusher. Judge Moore was too radical because he wanted to get out front and pull. The Party lined up behind incumbent Governor Riley and pushed. Alabama, like the rest of America, is going in circles.

Americans have become convinced that the greatest virtue a politician can have is the willingness to compromise. Compromise is just a nice word for spaghetti-pushing. Check your history. All great leaders pulled on the noodles. Did you ever see a farmer with a team of horses pushing a plow?

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Responsibility is a unique concept. It can only reside and inhere in a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you…If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the blame to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the one who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you never really had anyone who was responsible. ---Admiral Hyman Rickover

Jesus was a spaghetti puller. In fact, he told us ''Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God'' (Luke 9:62). America is running in circles because our leadership is on the wrong end of the plow.

It is time to ride the stallions. America needs leaders who will pull!

Hey…check out my new CD…Why Should God Bless America?…it's better than listening to O'Rush, O'Hannity, or O'Reilly. Pass some salt to your friends!




© 2006 Dave Daubenmire - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale


Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.

E-Mail: coach@ptsalt.com


 

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Americans have become convinced that the greatest virtue a politician can have is the willingness to compromise. Compromise is just a nice word for spaghetti-pushing. Check your history. All great leaders pulled on the noodles. Did you ever see a farmer with a team of horses pushing a plow?