Many Americans would agree that our nation is more divided than ever and could use a new crop of leaders. Here’s my New Year “wish list” for better leadership and a new focus in areas ranging from politics to sports to business to universities to the military.
1. A cessation of inflammatory, hurtful and incendiary political rhetoric that fuels our worst fears and further fractures our already divided nation.
2. A new mayor for the Windy City. Chicago needs a leader who is less brash, brusque and bruising and, most importantly, is proactive and can build trust among all its citizens.
3. A new group of executives in America’s corporations who “don’t smile up and frown down the organization” — in other words who don’t blame and belittle subordinates while pandering to the C-suite, who fail to acknowledge their own mistakes and who have difficulty accepting accountability when things don’t go as planned.
4. A reminder that colleges and universities need to redouble their efforts in eliminating campus racism and preventing sexual assaults while also teaching courses in the First Amendment and not bucking to student demands for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” or other politically correct nonsense.
5. A course for new NFL referees that demonstrates how excessive “flag throwing” totally disrupts the flow and momentum of professional football games.
6. A course for NFL lineman and defensive backs on “technique” designed to reduce the appallingly large number of penalties imposed for false starts, holding, interference and other infractions. Most games are frankly becoming unwatchable.
7. A way to reduce the alarming number of commanding officers in the United States military who are being relieved from command for a variety of leadership flaws.
8. A new general manager of my lifelong favorite professional team, the San Francisco 49ers.
9. A new president who is seasoned, can work effectively with Congress, will avoid making impractical promises, can unite all Americans, who genuinely values and holds the military and its leaders in high regard, and who will ensure that his or her administration is diverse and held accountable for executing policy.
10. A new way to reach out, engage and influence the climate change doubters who continue to defy sound scientific knowledge. Climate change is real and cannot be ignored.
• Ritch K. Eich was president of Eich Associated, a former leadership and management consulting firm in Thousand Oaks.