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An Encouraging Word on Transparent Leadership

Efforts in transparent leadership aren’t always rewarded, especially in the short run, but doing things the right way is its own reward. So I’d like to throw a quick word of encouragement to Bruce Cozart, a legislator down in Arkansas.

Bruce Cozart is the chair of that state’s House Education Committee. By some accounts, including his own, he experienced a failure this week in that role, because the committee will miss a critical deadline to produce a key report on how to spend $3 billion on public schools over the next fiscal year.

“I really thought I could take a committee, bring them together, and do a report,” Cozart said, “and I was wrong.”

The clearly frustrated Cozart said he was too naïve and trusting in thinking he could take a more open approach to creating the report.

“I should have done it illegally, like everybody else did,” he said. “Put people in a room – about four people I really wanted to work with – and came up with a report, and just presented it to them. Never let them see it. That’s what happened before – always. I wanted to be transparent.”

Perhaps the committee will be less open in the future, but let’s hope not. Instead, I’d encourage Cozart to stick with his values and his ideals, naïve as they might see. If he doesn’t give in, this failure can become merely one step back in the process of taking many transparent steps forward in the future.

Inspired by a local leader who is doing his or her best to lead transparently? Please share it in the comments or contact me here. I’d like to learn more about it.

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