Success And Succession

            The day saw the birth of royalty within the British monarchy. Fascination describes the “interest” of the American public in the birth of a child to a young couple in London. After all, American culture and self-governance is ostensibly founded on the very overthrow of monarchy by democracy. Our “fascination” extends more along the lines of our acquaintance with Shakespeare than any actual analytic interpretation of royal lineage with the same equanimity as that of our own constitutional electoral college and its transition of presidency. How else to grasp that after Elizabeth as queen, Charles, then William, then this new unnamed prince are all “in line” to head the British monarchy?


Today (7-22-13) Kent Mallet of The Newark Advocate reported the announcement by Park National Bank and Park National Bank Corporation of the change in CEO coming January 2014. David Trautman, current president of bank and corp., will succeed Dan DeLawder as CEO. “Park announced the succession plan along with today’s second quarter report. Park long has used a strategy of flip-flopping its No. 1 and No. 2 employees to ensure a smooth leadership transition.” Mallet goes on to write, “DeLawder plans to continue working on a full-time basis, following the pattern established by former Park CEOs John W. Alford and William T. McConnell. “This carefully planned transition follows the leadership model that has successfully served our organization for decades,” DeLawder said. Like DeLawder, Trautman was hired by and worked directly with past leaders Everett Reese, Alford and McConnell.”


Perhaps, though a democracy, Americans are more in tune with hierarchical transitions, no matter how eccentric and arcane the protocol and strategy. This would go a long way in explaining the “fascination” for the British royal event. It would also explain why so many bemoan the low turn-out in local elections, low interest level in local affairs of self-governance and (sometimes) non-existent participation in the very offices of self-governance (evidenced by election ballots with candidates running unopposed). Democracy requires an informed, inquisitive and “local” (neighborhood) participation. Democracy, as self-governance, is not predetermined, ordained or scientific. It is not a model of efficiency. There is no “one size fits all” approach or solution since all aspects are determined through a democratic interaction. Today’s emphasis on success and succession makes democracy rather, well, inconvenient. It appears to suggest that democracy would be best served if it had a drive thru window. Either that, or operate more like a business or monarchy!

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