The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, December 03, 2009, Page Page 4, Image 4

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    Page 4
The INDEPENDENT, December 3, 2009
There are significant differences between “leadership” and “power”
King George III asked Ben-
jamin West, his American
painter, what George Washing-
ton would do if he prevailed in
the Revolutionary War. West
replied, “He will return to his
farm.” The British monarch in-
credulously said, “If he does
that, he will be the greatest
man in the world.” On Decem-
ber 23, 1783, Washington did
just that and retired to Mount
Vernon – despite the encour-
agement of many to stay in
power. Despite the willingness
of Americans to crown him
king. Thirteen years later, he
would do it once again.
In 1787, Washington was
coaxed back to Philadelphia to
attend the Constitutional Con-
vention. While there he provid-
ed the leadership necessary to
get the fractious delegates to
settle down and complete the
work of designing a new consti-
tution. Afterwards, in 1789, he
was elected the first President
of the United States. He reluc-
tantly ran for a second term in
1792. He refused to run for a
third term, setting a precedent
that lasted 150 years, and re-
tired once again to his farm.
Abraham Lincoln said, “If
you want to test a man’s char-
acter – give him power.”
George Washington passed
that test. Twice in his life he
walked away from power and
proved that he was indeed the
greatest man in the world. He
demonstrated that leadership is
something that you give – not
take – and that power should
be used responsibly.
Washington died in 1799,
the year that Napoleon Bona-
parte became the ruler of
France. In contrast to Washing-
ton, Napoleon could not ac-
quire enough power. His leg-
endary lust for command drove
him to take over much of Eu-
rope. “Power is my mistress,”
he once claimed, “I have
worked too hard at her con-
quest to allow anyone to take
her away from me.”
Years later, having lost all
power and living in exile, he
lamented “They wanted me to
be another Washington.”
History is rife with stories of
people who abused their pow-
er. Abuse of power, however, is
not just reserved for politicians
and tyrants. It can be abused
by managers, spouses, par-
ents, peers and the list goes
on. It is the lure of dominance
over others, when it motivates
people toward leadership roles,
that is revealing. It reveals un-
certainty, lack of confidence
and fear.
It is said that power corrupts,
but more often than not, it is a
corrupted individual who is at-
tracted to power. It is a feeling
of inferiority, sometimes called
a Napoleon Complex, that
drives someone to control other
people and to micro-manage
their surroundings. Today we
call such a person a Control
Freak. Science fiction author,
Robert Heinlein noted, “Anyone
who wants to be a politician
shouldn’t be allowed to be
When we look at Abraham
Maslow’s hierarchy of Human
Motivation (Survival, Safety,
Social, Esteem, Fulfillment), we
see that someone who hungers
for power is stuck in the second
to bottom level which is Safety.
A true leader has self-esteem
and self-confidence and does
not seek power to bolster his or
her feeling of self worth.
Thomas Jefferson observed
that, “An honest man can feel
no pleasure in the exercise of
power over his fellow citizens.”
A true leader is motivated by
a goal. A goal common to his
group whether that group is a
company or a country. If you
find yourself attracted to lead-
ership, stop and check your
motivation. Are you driven to
share your gift of understand-
ing in the endeavor of achiev-
ing a goal, or are you motivated
by perquisites of position and
the power you have over oth-
ers? As John Quincy Adams
said, “If your actions inspire
others to dream more, learn
more, do more and become
more, you are a leader.”
show little change
Columbia County’s season-
ally adjusted unemployment
rate was 13.4 percent in Octo-
ber, essentially unchanged
from the previous month
(13.8%) and higher than the
year before (7.9%). The rate
was above the statewide rate
(11.3%) and the national rate
(10.2%). Total employment
climbed by 65 to 21,518 but the
number of unemployed people
rose by 39 to 3,070. Total em-
ployment this October was
1,247 fewer than one year be-
fore and there were 1,252
more people unemployed this
Community Calendar
Alcoholics Anonymous
6:30 p.m., 410 North Street
Alcoholics Anonymous
Thursdays (Big Book Study) 7:00 p.m., 410 North Street
American Legion Post #119
2nd Thursday
7:00 p.m., 627 Adams Avenue
Booster Club
2nd Wednesday
7:00 p.m., VHS Library
Boy Scout Troop 201
7:00 p.m., Scout Cabin
Boy Scout Troop 860
7:00 p.m., LDS Church
Cemetery Beautification Comm.
2nd Thursday
6:30 p.m., City Hall
4th Wednesday
For Info Call 503-429-3018
Chamber of Commerce
2nd Wednesday
For Info Call 503-429-6081
Community Coalition
2nd Monday
12:30 p.m. School District Ofc.
Cub Scout Pack 201
Scout Cabin
For Info Call 503-429-4250
Friends of the Library
1st Tuesday
7:00 p.m., Vernonia Library
Girl Scouts, Neighborhood 4-2
For Info Call 503-819-0143
Hands On Art Committee
1st & 3rd Thursdays
4:00 p.m., City Hall
Izaak Walton League
3rd Thursday
For location call 503-429-7193
Lions Club
1st & 3rd Tuesdays 6:30 p.m., Buckhorn Restaurant
Municipal Airport Committee
4th Thursday
7:00 p.m., City Hall
Pioneer Museum
For Info Call 503-429-3713
Public Works Committee
4th Tuesday
7:00 p.m., City Hall
Vernonia Cares Directors
For Info call 503-429-1414
Vernonia City Council
1st & 3rd Mondays
7:00 p.m., City Hall
Vernonia Community PTA
2nd Wednesday
7:00 p.m., WGS Library
Vernonia Grange
3rd Monday
7:00 p.m., Grange Hall
Vernonia Health Center
2nd Monday
6:00 p.m., 510 Bridge St.
Vernonia Learning Center
1st Wednesday
6:00 p.m., VLC
Vernonia Parks Committee
3rd Wednesday
6:30 p.m., City Hall
Vernonia Planning Comm.
1st & 3rd Thursdays
7:00 p.m., City Hall
Vernonia Pride
2nd Thursday
1:00 p.m., City Hall
Vernonia Ridge Riders
Last Thursday
7:00 p.m., Senior Center
Vernonia RFPD Board
2nd Tuesday
6:00 p.m., Fire Station
Vernonia School Board
2nd Thursday
6:00 p.m., District Office
Vernonia Sr. Center Board
2nd Friday
1:00 p.m., Senior Center
Vernonia Transfer Station
2nd & 4th Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Behind VHS
Vern. Volunteer Ambulance Assoc. 1st, 3rd & 4th Tuesday
7:00 p.m., Fire Station
Vernonia Volunteer Firefighters
2nd Monday
7:00 p.m., Fire Station
WOEC Directors
3rd Tuesday
7:00 p.m., WOEC
M-BRFPD Board Business Mtg.
2nd Tuesday
M-BRFPD Board Workshop
4th Tuesday
M-B Ambulance Drill
1st & 2nd Thursdays
M-B Fire Drill
1st & 2nd Wednesdays
M-B Helping Circle
2nd Monday
M-B SAR Drill
3rd Wednesday
M-B Volunteer Assoc.
1st Tuesday
Natal Grange
2nd Wednesday
Upr Nehalem Watershed Council For date call 429-0869
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
7:30 p.m., Natal Grange Hall
9:00 a.m., Main Fire Station
7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station
Alcoholics Anonymous
7:30 p.m., Methodist Church
Alcoholics Anonymous
7:30 p.m., Methodist Church
American Legion Post #90
2nd Tuesdays
7:30 p.m., Main Street Post
Banks City Council
2nd Tuesday
7:30 p.m., City Hall
Banks Fire District #13
2nd Wednesday
7:00 p.m., Station 13
Banks Library Commission
3rd Tuesday
7:00 p.m., City Library
Banks Planning Commission
Last Tuesday
7:00 p.m., City Hall
Banks School Board
2nd Monday
7:30 p.m., Jr. High Library
Banks Youth Group
Sundays, Wednesdays
7:00 p.m., UMC Youth Bldg.
Chamber of Commerce
1st Thursday
12:30 p.m., Fire District Office
CPO 14
3rd Monday
7:00 p.m., City Library
Friends of the Library
2nd Tuesday
7:00 p.m., City Library
Lions Club
1st & 3rd Mondays
7:00 p.m., Brown Derby
Sunset Park Assoc.
3rd Wednesday
8:00 p.m., Gun Club
7:00 p.m., Administration Bldg.
COLUMBIA COUNTY (All meet in St. Helens unless otherwise noted.)
Board of Commissioners
1:00 p.m., Courthouse
Citizens for Senior Justice
2nd Tuesday
7:00 p.m., Sunset Park Church
Columbia Soil & Water District
3rd Wednesday
7:30 p.m., NRCS , 2514 Sykes
County Fair Board
2nd Monday
6:00 p.m., Fairgrounds 4-H Bldg.
County Parks Commission
3rd Tuesday
Times vary, 1054 Oregon St.
Mental Health Advisory Comm.
For Info call 503-397-7211
Comm. on Children & Families
3rd Thursday 5:30 p.m. OSU Ext., 505 N. Hwy. 30
For Info call 503-397-7211
Local Alcohol & Drug Plann. Comm.
Organizations and meeting dates not listed may be included by calling 429-9410 or by mail to The INDEPENDENT, 725 Bridge Street, Vernonia, OR 97064.