So, last week Mayor White admitted he lacked leadership by ignoring his instincts, and instead doing what Council wanted:
"One thing I've learned from this experience is to go with my instinct," said White, who originally wanted the contract put out to bid. He said he later decided to negotiate an extension at the request of council members.
Ironically, last week he gave a speech at Rice University detailing what's needed to be a leader:
Speaking as part of the International Leadership Competency Forum at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, White began by dispelling societal misconceptions about what it takes to be a leader.
“Pop culture often confuses leadership with celebrity or wealth, or where you stand in a hierarchy,” White said.
In fact, he said the qualities that make a person well known will not make them a leader. The most important qualities for leadership are not necessarily the most publicized and most appreciated ones, he said. Intelligence and academic proficiency, while valuable assets, are overrated leadership qualities, and trustworthiness and reliability are more important, White said.
“You’re much more likely to succeed as a leader if the people around you are rooting for you to succeed,” he said.
White said leadership styles are highly influenced by one’s parents and the leaders one observes. If people do not deliberately develop a leadership style, they will begin to copy what they see. He said he reads about his political heroes for guidance.
If Mayor White's instinct truly told him that the airport concessions contract should have gone out to bid, he should have followed it. By not doing so, he demonstrated a tremendous lack of leadership.