The Power to Lead


Special note: This week’s cover story by Stephanie McCraw about one of Jamestown’s newest new businesses is really another leadership story about a local entrepreneur with a dream and a will to succeed. So here’s a short study on the subject of leadership itself. We’re entering the election season once more. The Jamestown Gazette does not pick favorites, but if we can help you do it better, please read on and enjoy the read.


Good leaders need a strong hand. Followers need clear directions from one who knows best. Many definitions of leadership include the words: authority, control, rule, command, power, and mastery.

Followers under such a leader are free from the burdens of decision-making and responsibility. Good leaders make life easy for good followers.

Fortunately for you and me, that’s only a perfect system for robots. Real people have ideas of their own, or they have ambitions, or they want to think creatively for themselves. In those cases, such leaders think they have no choice but to resort to force and intimidation to control the ones they lead.

Those leaders are called dictators. Occasionally, even a boss falls into that category, because bosses need to be leaders.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” If that is the experience of one of the world’s most accomplished military leaders, no other leaders can excuse treating their followers – and no bosses can excuse treating their employees – like robots to be controlled.

Leadership is probably the most important topic for all of us to consider during the upcoming year. It is election time in America once again.

Here are a few good leadership ideas to consider. They are offered by some of the nation’s most successful leaders:

  • “The best leaders don’t show up like heroes, they make heroes,” according to Liz Bohannon, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Sseco Designs, an international creator of fashions, creating leadership and educational opportunities for women across the globe. She adds, “Leading and being led are a sacred dance. Each serves the other.” Doesn’t sound much like a power-play, does it?
  • “Business is not the bottom line,” said Ben Sherwood, former Co-Chairman Disney Media Networks; Former President, Disney ABC Television. “Business is about people and their transformation.” A leader creates new leaders. “Believe in the magic of your peoples’ ideas.” That’s what a good boss acts like.
  • When it comes to the people you lead, “Value the connection rather than control,” said Danielle Strickland, internal justice advocate, author, and pastor. “As a leader, ask more than you tell,” she added. The best leader serves the people she leads.

Last week, a select group of Chautauqua County’s leaders attended the 2019 Global Leadership Summit, hosted locally at Jamestown’s Hillcrest Baptist Church, as part of a live teleconference to 600 locations in 135 countries and 81 prisons across the U.S.

The Jamestown Gazette invites our readers to follow their example and study the true art of leadership when selecting tomorrow’s leaders. Leading is not only an action, it is a way of being. Local leaders in business, education, and community service who attended are expressing their commitment to creating and delivering outstanding and extraordinary leadership in the coming years.

Learn more at and join the world’s leaders in making a difference as a leader yourself.

Enjoy the read.
Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.