He came to Jacksonville not long ago, replacing a great leader before him. We all heard how great he was going to be. He was the handpicked successor to follow a much beloved legend. The expectations were high - perhaps he would lead us to even greater heights! But alas, it has not been so. We all were so happy when we heard he was coming to Jacksonville; it was a happy day when he arrived. We trusted our leadership that they knew what they were doing when they handed him the reigns of this organization...we trusted them that they did their homework and looked at all possible options and picked the best man for the job, to replace a leader who had done so much for our city and for the organization.
Then we noticed that he seemed to like to complain about how rough he had it, making himself out to be a victim when the first bit of criticism came his way. Maybe he became enamored with all the praise he received coming to Jacksonville and thought he could just coast. Maybe it was all that money that was thrown at him...maybe he started to believe everything that people said about how great he was going to be! Maybe we gave up too much to get him here to Jacksonville. Yes, we have all been patient with him...waiting for him to rise to the potential that he promised us and that others told us about. We even passed on some others that we could have taken - maybe not as well known but certainly we knew they had potential as well.
Its taken a long time for some to realize he wasn't all that everyone told us he would be. Of course the everyday guy on the street saw this way before those who selected him did; what took them so long? The people never really seemed to take to his style of leadership, and he just plain 'ole didn't live up to the expectations.
Who is this person, you ask? Isn't it obvious?
So long Byron Leftwich!
There's something we like about a person earning the top spot through dedication and hard work; people like to get behind that kind of a leader. David Garrard certainly has shown himself to be a capable commander. He has handled himself well in adversity, didn't complain when people complained about him, he has been man enough to recognize his shortcomings and failures, and worked hard to make himself better. But on the other hand, people tend to be wary of "knighted" leaders; those who are dubbed "the leader" before they've earned their stripes with those they are leading - as in Byron Leftwich. Perhaps there is a higher standard expected of someone who comes in new, following a legend. We expect them to be a bit more humble, come in working a little bit harder, coming in to serve and prove themselves worthy before reaping all the money and the trappings that the position might well deserve..and certainly we don't expect them to look out for themselves first, but to instead look out for the best of the organization they are leading.
And you thought I was talking about.....shame on you! But as the saying goes, "if the shoe fits...".