“It is reprehensible and hypocritical that the Defenders of Wildlife would use Alaska and my administration as a fundraising tool to deceive Americans into parting with their hard-earned money” (Wildlife, 2009, Â¶1).
“The ad campaign by this extreme fringe group, as Alaskans have witnessed over the last several years, distorts the facts about Alaska’s wildlife management programs. Alaskans depend on wildlife for food and cultural practices which can’t be sustained when predators are allowed to decimate moose and caribou populations. Our predator control programs are scientific and successful at protecting vulnerable wildlife. These audacious fundraising attempts misrepresent what goes on in Alaska, and I encourage people to learn the facts about Alaska’s positive record of managing wildlife for abundance” (Wildlife, 2009, Â¶2).
“Shame on the Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times” (Wildlife, 2009, Â¶3).
Executives oftentimes have to make unpleasant, distasteful, unpopular, and painful decisions. It goes with the job. Some executives are inept; some kowtow to political correctness and make poor decisions based on what “feels right” rather than addressing reality; others chase after short-term popularity. Any of the foregoing would be the easy way out and the path Govenor Palin could have chosen in managing Arctic wolves, or any other matter.
The four basics a successful leader adheres to are: cost, benefit, safety, and legality (Hilley, 2008, p. 48). Does the benefit outweigh the cost? Is the proposed action safe and legal?
Though not popular with animal rights and environmental groups, culling wolves permits caribou and moose populations to remain at proper levels. Managed eradication of an excessive number of predators works. The benefits outweigh the costs. The method is safe. It is legally authorized. The method is proper for the unique geography of Alaska. Governor Palin’s decision may be unpopular with some, but it’s the right decision.
An effective leader has the courage and fortitude to make the right decision and stand by it without apology even when it might not be popular or lead to harsh criticism; and even when emotions run at a fever pitch.
Ashley Judd and “Defenders” might not like it, but then, they do not have to walk in Governor Palin’s shoes and make these decisions.
Hilley, J. (2008). Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Palin on Defenders of Wildlife Campaign. (2009, February 4). State of Alaska, Governor.. Retrieved February 4, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1623.