Dictators vs Coaches

I was reading a book yesterday by John Maxwell called “Developing the Leaders Around You” (1995, Injoy, Inc.)  On page 161, Rev. Maxwell describes the difference between dictators and “dream team coaches”, or “facilitators”.  In Maxwell’s words:

Dictators

Facilitators

Hoard decisions. Push decisions down the line.
Make decisions alone or restrict them to an elite group. Involve others as much as possible in key decisions and give people space to make those decisions.
View truth and wisdom as their domain since they are the leaders. View truth and wisdom as being accessible to everyone throughout the organization.
Surprise their workers with edicts from above. Let those responsible decided how the jobs will be done.
Guard their own interests. Serve everyone’s interest by developing people.
Take for themselves. Give to the organization.

Whenever I read something like this, my first inclination is to apply it to myself and my relationships at work.  But then I began to think about it in terms of the current health care debate.  Keep in mind that Mr. Maxwell wrote this in the 90’s, during the Clinton Administration.  In this book, he wasn’t making any political references, rather many of his references were sports-oriented.

Still, which side would the Obama Administration and Congress fall on?  Can they be described as “Facilitators”, or “Dictators”, especially when the definitions from above are applied?

Yes, I know, we could apply the same definitions to the Bush Administration, but they’re no longer in power, are they?  You cannot lead the nation forward by constantly looking backward and ranting and raving about it.  And the Bush Administration made plenty of mistakes.

Let’s just apply the definitions to the current situation.

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