Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forgiveness and Trust

I am a big proponent on forgiveness, in fact I often talk at length about it when I speak to groups. I believe it is an essential trait to practice as a leader.

However, I don't believe that forgiveness and trust are the same. I believe you can receive forgiveness but you need to earn trust. I have often heard, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

With that in mind, I was dismayed to see the article in The Toledo Blade yesterday stating that Timothy Geithner was confirmed as President Barack Obama's new Treasury Secretary despite having not paid all of his taxes for three years in a row. Even The Toledo Blade, a very liberal paper, started the article in this manner:

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday evening confirmed New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner as President Barack Obama's treasury secretary despite tax problems that might have sunk his nomination in less desperate times.

I believe that Mr. Geithner should be forgiven; however, I am not sure he has earned the trust of the American people yet (at least he hasn't earned my trust) and I don't believe he should be in such a powerful position until he has. I believe that leaders are held to a higher standard than others. This case is no exception.

Any thoughts?

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