* * * F. A. T. * * *
- F.A.T. LeadershipIn my thoughts regarding J.A.I.L. leadership, I wish to share three simple, albeit necessary, rules with our JAILers. Life is composed of trinities. We view all creation three-dimensional: height, depth, and width. Many triune objects, for example, a table, requires three legs to stand independently on its own. Without any one of the three legs, the table falls flat, and all legs fail their intended mission. Therefore, any two legs must depend upon the third leg for its success.Making the above analogy to successful J.A.I.L. leadership is not far- fetched. In pondering these three principles, I did not plan that they should spell F.A.T. -- it just turned out that way. Acronyms assist our memories, and so, it serves the purpose of my lesson here well."F" is for "Focus!"Since the start of J.A.I.L., as far as the internet is concerned, I have consistently watched conversations of JAILers for focus. I have particularly taken note of the JAILers who have been capable of staying focused, despite the barrage of emails that come their way that confuse the issue and muddy the true J.A.I.L. cause.If there be one thing that distinguishes J.A.I.L. from the myriads of other good causes, it is focus. We all know government is bad, wasteful and corrupt. Everyone with principle wants to see government changed. These folks tend to combat such corruption by unrealistically attempting to take on everything broadside. One long-time patriot stated his findings to me based upon his thirty years experience in the foxhole, and that was, the failure of patriots is their inability to focus.I related very well to this statement, for my own experience bore witness thereto. This was pre-J.A.I.L. The greatest downfall of patriotic Americans is their failure to focus and pursue the root of the problem. Instead, they diligently hack for years at the symptoms with their limited resources until both they and their resources are exhausted, while they watch things get worse, not better. Indeed, our footnote signature in all our JA.I.L. News Journals says, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." J.A.I.L is the personification of this ever-so-true quote of Henry David Thoreau.I once heard a humorous story of a ship that faced a tumultuous typhoon at sea. The ship rocked, tumbled, and capsized, and lastly came upright with water gushing out every portal. After a passage of time, a voice came over the intercom, "This is your captain speaking. We can all count our blessings that we are not at the bottom of the sea. We have just survived a deadly typhoon with over 100-foot waves. Despite our survival, I have some bad news. All our communications have been knocked out, and our compass has been damaged beyond repair, so we have lost all sense of direction. But there is some good news, however. We have a very strong tail wind, and we are making excellent time." To be a good J.A.I.L. leader one MUST be focused."A" is for "Action!"Add to focus "action." A train has focus. It follows the track to its destination, but if the train never moves, it accomplishes nothing. It may as well be a museum piece. We often hear, "Why doesn't someone do something!" Well, that "someone" to do something is you. Recall the cliché, "Do something, even if it is wrong." Also, "If not now, When? -- and if not you, Who?" Imagine if the ant colony looked at a monstrous cockroach and said, "That's too big for us to carry." It never enters their mind, they just all latch on and tug. In the beginning, the subject insect never budges; but as more and more ants take hold, eventually the impossible happens. We are told in the Scriptures to learn the way of the ant. Ants will latch hold of anything that does not move fast enough, including a live grasshopper.I ask every JAILer-In-Chief, by working with their JAILers, to focus this year of 2002 on recruiting new JAILers and building your county Warden Cells throughout your states, and making them active. "Every County A Warden" should be our motto!Also, every JIC is encouraged to seek out and obtain your own webmaster for your state's site, feed information to him, build your state's site for the world to see what you are doing. If you haven't seen the main JAIL4Judges site for a while, take a look at it. It has taken on a whole new appearance. Get some ideas from other states or from outside websites and adapt them to your state website.And last, but not least, seek out financial support for the cause of J.A.I.L. There are those who have the resources and would dip into their wallet if they only knew about us, and the value of what we are doing. Yes, to be a good J.A.I.L. leader, one MUST have a vision for Action! Put these aforementioned goals into Action!"T" is for "Talent!"Not everyone is a natural-born leader. It just is not in their character. No amount of training will ever make them a leader, and understandably so. There can be no leaders if there are no followers. Followers are important to every leader. They are what backs up, and supports the leader. In fact, they ARE what makes him a leader!There are, of course, those who can learn leadership qualities with perhaps some training, and definitely with experience. Leaders do not drop out of the womb as leaders. Those qualities are fostered by experience. It is those types of people we need to encourage to pursue higher positions of leadership. Remember to "Appoint and Delegate!"An ideal illustration of the above is the position of Warden. A Warden, by acceptance of his position, must be a leader. He may not be a trained or a magnificent leader, but he has chosen to meet the challenge of being a leader to his county. He appoints his Lieutenant, and his Associates. He sets the examples for them. They also begin their learning curve of becoming a leader. Mistakes must be expected and tolerated. Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of a good leader is their ability to be patient and capable of dealing with the unexpected and difficult matters that "are not in the books." In other words, able to think and act on their feet and not fall apart when things are embarrassing or don't go right, or when they face harsh criticism of their leadership ability.Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs, and the Titanic by professionals; that Moses had to speak through his brother, Aaron, and Pharaoh, in all his glory, could not resist the Power of this army of two.Failures and criticisms will come-- you can count on it. The strength of your character is evident by the test of your ability to face adversity, not by being always right! From my experience in the military, I noted the difference in the leadership qualities of the lower-ranked brass versus the higher. The lower-ranking brass faced insecurity and missed no opportunities to assert their authority. On the other hand, Majors, on up to the Generals, showed no inclination to quickly assert their authority like the novice brass. They weren't trying to "prove" themselves. Yes, you are what you are, and you need not apologize or prove it.Despite the requirement of talent to be a good J.A.I.L. leader, it is the least of the three requirements. If one is focused, and has action, but lacks leadership qualities, it can be overcome with experience. However, if one has great leadership talent, but no action, he serves as a good wooden Indian in front of a cigar outpost. On the other hand, should he have great leadership talent, but no focus, then he is like a train that has left the track and gone down the field toward the creek. J.A.I.L. would be better served without these type of leaders.Focus -- Action -- and Talent, these three, but the greatest of these is Focus.-Ron Branson-National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-ChiefJ.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
striking at the root." -- Henry David Thoreau <><