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Edward Snowden: Courageous Leader, or Person with Lack of Morals and Accountability? Scrutinizing the Latest Events in the NSA Scandal

Photo Source: Guardian UK

Photo Source: Guardian UK

(Editor’s Update: You can also listen to Lee’s brief interview on America’s Radio News Network on this issue – go to www.LeadingWithHonor.com)

As a former POW in the camps of North Vietnam, I think my comrades and I saw the purest example of leadership possible. Our senior leaders put their country and their teammates above their own well-being to fulfill their obligations under the law and their sacred trust of being a leader. In the camps, life and death were at stake, but all leaders hold sway over the destiny of others. It seems as though we’re seeing the opposite example of pure leaders (poor leadership) highlighted in the media right now, and most of it relates to the government sector.

The disclosures of Edward Snowden raise so many issues of leadership and accountability that it’s hard to know where to start. First and foremost, leadership requires wisdom and honor—wisdom to know what’s right and then the courage to do the right and honorable thing. At first glance, it would appear that there was a lack of wisdom and accountability on all sides. Snowden clearly did not figure out a good way to handle what may have been a legitimate concern. A wise and courageous mentor could’ve helped him figure out a legal and proper way to address his concerns. Now, he will most likely be found to have broken the law and some accountability must come, less “every man will begin to do what is right in his own eyes.”

“Snowden clearly did not figure out a good way to handle what may have been a legitimate concern. A wise and courageous mentor could’ve helped him figure out a legal and proper way to address his concerns.”

On the other hand, it appears that our government has found yet another way to overstep its legal and ethical bounds—the means justifying someone’s desired personal end for power. When this begins to happen toward our external enemies, it’s just a matter of time until it gets out of control internally and someone takes advantage of their power to try to wipe out their internal political opponents.

Witness the ongoing IRS scandal. It doesn’t take an honest political scientist long to project what kind of country we will soon be if the party that comes to power decides to use government to minimize their political opponents. Corrupt uses of power most like will turn us very quickly turn our “fruited plain” into a “banana republic.”

“We need honorable leaders, committed to doing their sworn duty of upholding the constitution, including not just the letter of the law, but the intent of the law.”

We need honorable leaders, committed to doing their sworn duty of upholding the constitution, including not just the letter of the law, but the intent of the law. We need civil servants and political leaders who are committed to serving their country first, above their personal politics and personal ambitions. We need business and community leaders who will do the same in their spheres of work and influence.

Who will stand up and be counted? I’m standing, and hope that in the days ahead you will stand with me.

It begins by being accountable ourselves. It’s not easy or even possible without the help of others who can help us see wisdom. Do you have a team to help you clarify and then do the right thing to fulfill your responsibilities and duties in your job and as a citizen? Will you help me promote the message that we must do the “right” thing and that begins with obeying the laws of the land and putting our country first, and others before selfish goals and ambitions?

LE

Article Source: Edward Snowden: the Whistleblower Behind the NSA Surveillance Revelation​s

——————–
Lee Ellis 
is Founder & President of Leadership Freedom LLC® & FreedomStar Media™.
He is a leadership consultant and expert in teambuilding, executive development & assessments
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog | Book | Facebook | Twitter

He is the author of Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

0 Comments on “Edward Snowden: Courageous Leader, or Person with Lack of Morals and Accountability? Scrutinizing the Latest Events in the NSA Scandal

Gloria
June 13, 2013 at 11:53 am

What’s happening, and the workforce is constantly admitting it, that more and more younger people are getting access to information because of their Information Technology abilities. This technical knowledge has also made our society less personable. The lack of social and interpersonal skills makes people less communicative, and we prefer to face our enemies in cyberspace rather than face to face. Did Edward Snowden have a more senior, trusted mentor in whom he could confide and help mold him into a leader; least I say patriot, such as in the days you refer to during Vietnam? That question begs to be answered.

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Lee Ellis
June 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Great comments, Gloria. The issue of a senior, trusted mentor was one of the first thoughts/questions that we had, too. An engaged leader would’ve likely been able to listen Edward’s concerns and find the proper channel to take action on his concerns. (WP Admin)

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Roger
June 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Keeping in mind I’m as liberal as they come…Not sure why the question isn’t scaled to “Courageous, or person…”. I don’t see “leader” come into play here until he failed to look for one to turn to for help. I did 20yrs in the Air Force, (retired), but you don’t have to spend 20yrs in the military to know you have a chain of command to voice concerns.. A whistle blower program is in place as well. Instead, I see a man who didn’t like what was going on (which is fine), but took it in his own hands to do things his way…then go to China?? I love a righteous whistle blower, but it looks like they’re not as infallible as we may have perceived them anymore. We have no idea now what the Chinese got out of this man. At worst, people may die based on what he’s said. The jury may be out on this guy, but I don’t like what’s happened thus far at all. .

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Lee Ellis
June 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

Roger – thanks for your comments. You’re right–whether liberal, moderate, or conservative–the more important element to us is the process that Snowden had in place, from beginning to end, to make his decisions. We’re all leaders, and we all have influence over other people with our attitude and decisions. (WP Admin)

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