Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mayor Larry O'Brien on How to Build Consensus

The above is a quote from the Mayor of Ottawa, Larry O'Brien. He said this in the final ten minutes of an hour plus long interview conducted by the OPP as they investigated him on charges of bribery and influence peddling. I don't know what, if anything this comment says about his guilt or innocence. However, it does speak to the type of leader he is. Here is someone who thinks the world is divided into winners, those who agree with him, and the losers, those unfortunate souls who may see things differently than he does. So much for the win-win approach to consensus building.

In an Ottawa Citizen editorial titled "Macho Man" Kate Heartfield discusses another quote from this very telling interview. In it, Larry O'Brien describes his first meeting with mayoralty candidate Terry Kilrea, several months prior to the November, 2006 election.
"It was a big dick swinging contest with me telling him I could likely beat him and him telling me he could likely beat me and uh him telling me all the good things that he had going for him in terms of of um lists of of supporters lists of people who might want to vote for him ... and myself I was sort of swinging the dick back saying that I thought I was you know gonna be a better candidate for him because I was a successful businessman who had who was um well respected in the community ..."
Once elected mayor, Larry O'Brien told us he wanted Ottawa to be redefined as a "city with swagger". Is this the type of testosterone fueled "swagger" he was talking about? Is this the type of leadership Ottawa needs to guide it into the 21st Century?

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