Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Leadership and Nugent's Failure

What is to be gained by more commentary on the Ted Nugent fiasco? He stepped on it and he has no one to blame but himself. A person might insist on arguing that others are responsible because they failed to inform him of California’s hunting regulations, but that argument does not wash. The simple truth is that Ted Nugent is the person in charge. It is his show. He is the person behind all the moving and shaking about sponsors, selling the concept to networks. The whole “Spirit of The Wild” effort is his baby, so when something goes wrong only so much of the excrement secreted actually flows down hill, contrary to the laws of physics in nature, in responsibility it rolls uphill. Here’s how it works: The person in charge is the person who is ultimately responsible for the actions and welfare of those below.

Those people below may argue against an action conceived, ordered or otherwise endorsed by those above them but only the person in charge is ultimately responsible for the actions of the others. There are a thousand reasons, all of them knife-sharp and ready to be turned against an underling who refuses to obey an order, and because of them nearly every underling will carry out wrongful or just misguided orders. Occasionally, there is the underling martyr who refuses to carry out an order and is fired, or hanged in totalitarian regimes, but it is rare. More frequently, there are the captains and lieutenants who refuse to sacrifice the lives entrusted to them to the idiocy of deranged leaders. But, good leaders also depend on those below them to provide good intelligence—but they have to ask for it! Underlings rarely provide that intelligence without being asked to get it. That’s when the excrement flows up hill. Did Nugent task his lower managers with getting the facts on California hunting? Did he educate himself to the facts so he could recognize good advice and poor advice? That’s what a good leader does. A good leader is well enough versed in whatever the framework of an action is that poor advice, bad intelligence, is recognized or at least suspected, and steps taken to get more information. Here is the perfect example of poor leadership--Ted Nugent failed in his leadership. The little brown piles rolled up hill.

But, on his web site Nugent does say that he takes full responsibility. I guess that shows he is being a leader.

I don’t agree.

His web site mea culpa acknowledges that he plead “no contest” to two “misdemeanor game violations.” The Latin basis is nolo contendere which translates into, “I do not wish to contend.” The defendant does not dispute the charge but does not admit to any guilt or wrong doing. Here’s the kicker, the charges to which the defendant pleads “no contest” cannot be used against him or her in a future case. The defendant must, however, accept the punishment for the offence as imposed by the court.

Ted Nugent did not accept guilt for his actions. Through a plea agreement the state agreed to accept the nolo contendere that was entered into the court in absentia (he was not in the courtroom). Further, the state dropped the other nine charges! Ted Nugent did not show any leadership or class. He used his position, influence and money as “Ted Nugent” to beat the system for an offense he committed. Is there any person who truly believes that any “Joe” or “Jane” off the street could commit the same, or nearly the same set of offenses, and get nine out of eleven charges dropped and the other two a nolo contendere plea?

I believe that Ted Nugent failed to live up to his position of leadership in the outdoor community. A 37 word, three sentence mea culpa without an admission of guilt is not sufficient for a person who claims a position of leadership in the outdoor community, a position that includes leadership of young people.

Ted Nugent’s star has fallen. Now he must pick it up and spend some time polishing it.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I make you right.

Galen Geer said...

Do you think Nugent should remain on the Board of Directors of the NRA?

Holly Heyser said...

I need to spend some time Monday finding out the rest of the story here, because there is much more to it than we can see.

I actually liked his response on his website, and I understand its restraint - as a former newspaper editor, I remember all too well how the story sounds when the lawyers write things in ways to keep you out of court.

But yeah, he's the captain of the ship, he's responsible. No dispute there. Beyond that, every comment I could possibly make rests on speculation, so perhaps I'll shut up until I know more.

Phillip said...

I think I agree with everybody.

Nugent is, no question, responsible for his own actions and their outcomes. To a large extent, so are all of the individuals involved. They share culpability for the whole, and each is responsible for their personal roles and actions as well. Remember, Nugent was not the only one cited.

As far as the public mea culpa, I'd lay odds that the lawyers gave him that language and nothing more. Knowing Nugent's propensity for verbal diarrhea, this is not all he wanted to say. But I'd imagine that an overt admission of guilt on his website would cause an issue considering the accepted No Contest plea in court. At the same time, it would have been insanity for him to have laid blame back on the local guys.

As far as his position at the NRA, I'm not sure, although as a life member I guess I technically have a say.

As I've mentioned before, I have a hard time believing he aired the episode knowing it depicted an unlawful act. It would be incredibly stupid or arrogant (or both) to do so and expect not to get caught.

To me, it's honestly a question of intent... did he knowingly and with intent break the law, or was he just negligent and thoughtless enough not to know? It doesn't alleviate the guilt, but it does affect my attitude toward it.

I don't have the answer to that question. The courts found him guilty of violating the law and he did not contest that finding. But that does not establish whether he is a poacher or just another dummy who didn't pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Dear celebrity hunter,
I'm all for outdoor Knowledge, all for getting peoples attention about most subjects ,,,, but I,m moving away from the in your face person ( HUNTER) your using to get out the really important message. Hunting is supposed to cure a pretty big list of things in one's life and could help society. You know like
.fear of death
.Denial of the pain & suffering of living
.Denial of the spiritual
.Belief in the normality of living alone
.Separation from nature, especially kids
.Identifcation with EGO and ego worship
.Failure to discriminate between
ego-intellect and intelligence or wisdom
.Addiction or obsession
.Failure to love and resect the creatures and earth
.belief in life as competition
.lack of meaning and purpose in life
.separation of infants from mothers (bottle feeding)
.broken homes and belief single parent is enough to raise children
.lack of respect for elders and seperating them from society
.failure to perceive life, nature and the earth as sacred
.the pursiut of power over other people and nature
.Failure to see life as renewal(compared to history and technology)
.Inability to identify with creation, unity in life
.Self doubt and distrust

You may be starting to get the hang of a few of these things but you still need a lot of work on your path to becoming a true human! Keep plugging away and you might catch up to the real men! Your still just a pup! The desire to prove oneself worthy, and a search for a larger identity are inherited traits of adolesense.

Holly Heyser said...

Wow, that is one of the most bizarre comments I've ever seen. Nonsensical, like spam, yet not linked to anything.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I liked it - quite a few of the reminded me of Ted. Especially the one about bottle feeding.