Letter to Larry (that we hope he gets someday!)
Leadership Redefined Podcast
Richard Bernato Ed.D
Anthony Annunziato Ed.D.
Al Pisano Ed.D.
Dear Mr. Zacarese,
I had the good fortune to watch your interview on the Leadership Redefined Podcast of last week. A Stony Brook student had mentioned it to me after a Sleadership class that I had just taught. He thought I should watch it too, as your efforts, together with your 300 department members’ hard work, to keep the students and staff at Stony Brook University safe and healthy, certainly deserve worthy praise.
By coincidence your conversation with Drs. Pisano and Bernato certainly reinforced twenty first century leadership themes that we had discussed in class many times. But before I get to some of these I would like to point out that both your rich and varied experiences, instincts, and skills, exemplify a principle that leadership courses and trainings should emphasize:
Exemplary leadership practices in one field may be different by the “content” area; i.e. military, political, educational, civic, etc. but good practices qualitatively cut across any of these as universal themes.
In your case, as a police officer, professor, Chief of Police at Stony Brook, EMS worker, attorney, while their specific demands might require knowledge bases, the overall necessity to influence others to rally round your direction and contribute to that specific goal-set benefit from the sum of your skills.
I note a few here that Bernato and Pisano explored with you that I have reviewed from theoretical and practical application dimensions in my courses:
Situational Leadership: Where you describe how the circumstances of emergencies and needs require that the superb leader realizes that “one size does not fit all”. This means that each need is served best by how the leader diagnoses the long, and short-term implications of the actions to take.
Futuring / Nimbleness: Where you emphasize that the depth of your experiences is served by your ability to anticipate and plan for preferred futures rather than emerging ones that have been imposed.
Creating Capacity: Where you recognized the need to create the infrastructure of processes, decisions, and actions that stakeholders can use with you to assure your safety goals.
Human Relationships: Where you emphasize how the strength of your interpersonal connection with your co-workers more nearly assures their collective dedication to the organization’s prime goals of safety.
Co-Empowerment: Where you leverage all of the above to make the total exceed the sum of its parts.
Clearly, these are only some of the principles that you spoke to and actively modeled. The students and staff here at Stony Brook are in your debt for making them real. I hope that you are on future interviews with them!
State University at Stony Brook