LETTER: Clinton CAN be great but ...


To the Editor:

To all of Clinton City Council,


I am grateful for the time and commitment you have given to serve the City of Clinton. Some of you have served for a very long time and your dedication and love for this town is noted.

I was present at the May 6th Council meeting. I was shocked, appalled, and mostly embarrassed by the conduct of Bill Ed Cannon. The behavior and especially the cursing from a city leader was unacceptable and an obvious red flag that does not represent Clinton well.  What I witnessed was not good leadership, but a temper tantrum of sorts. Great leadership is needed in Clinton!

I have read many books on leadership, my two favorite being Good to Great by Jim Collins and Jack:Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch. Once you have had the privilege of working with a great leader, which I have,  it is easy to point out when leadership is in question.

“From our experience, the first essential trait of leadership is positive energy — the capacity to go-go-go with healthy vigor and an upbeat attitude through good times and bad.” ~ Jack Welch

I feel nothing but negativity and division. The desire to bring people together for a common vision can ONLY be done with positivity and I just don’t see it, or more importantly, I don’t feel it.

Great leaders always want to be surrounded with people smarter than themselves. I am concerned by the loss of staff within the city.  Why are good people leaving? Have we given them exit interviews so we can do better about retaining good people. If the leader is, or has the desire to be, the smartest one in the room, the end is near.

“Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people. The management team” ~ Jim Collins.

I could go on and on … but I urge all of you to look into something that will help all of you communicate and lead together. You can check Jim Collin’s website out: www.jimcollins.com which has a lot of team tools to

diagnosis your organization and take steps to greatness. I am sure you don’t think you have enough time to do this, but actually you cannot afford not to do it.

Lastly, when the May 6th meeting closed, Mayor McLean and Councilwoman Jenkins turned to each other and said something about working together and then they shook hands. Just so we are clear, I doubt one person in that room believed that. There is no trust on the council and everyone sees it, again, more importantly, we feel it. Everything in life is about a relationship and the foundation is trust. If there is no trust there is no real relationship, if there is no real relationship we are wasting our time.

I want Clinton to be led to greatness and I am living here to take part in that journey.  

I NEED to see the passion, the road map, the vision, the support for the staff that will get us there!  

Instead, I am lost in the arguing and the hatred that is oozing from the city walls. The sadness I feel for this great town is overwhelming.

Clinton CAN be great but only if we have positive, passionate leadership with a vision that is shared openly so everyone can get on board and work toward the goal together!

Let's be GREAT!


Susan Tallman,


My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

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