Qualities, not gender, make for good managers

Regarding your Jan. 16 article "Women, it seems, are better bosses": Are women really better bosses? I have had both, and as a CEO for 11 years I have placed many individuals in management positions. I find that the operating styles of the individuals are much more important than their gender - though I did promote more women than men.

When filling positions, I sought intelligence, good common sense, quickness, perceptiveness, and strong interpersonal skills.

Gender didn't matter to me at all. I also had some managers who didn't work well with other people - whether male or female - although they were great with paperwork and managed the company's finances very well.

Female "bosses" are a relatively new phenomenon, but after time, novelty and new opportunities wash through, and prized individual qualities will remain. These are what we should sort out and spotlight and not a person's gender.

Don L. Griffith Decatur, Ga

Solving California's power woes

Regarding your Jan. 11 article "California governor has new role: power guy": The energy crisis facing California today is much more critical than the future political ambitions of the state's governor. We are witnessing what will prove to be a classic case of chaos by misguided and bifurcated government policy and interference.

On the one hand, California took the lead in 1998 to deregulate its energy industry and then proceeded to hamstring the mechanisms of the free market which it intended to encourage. Rates that could be charged by utilities were frozen. The utilities were ordered to sell off their generating operations to encourage competition, but most were purchased by energy companies outside California and not subject to state control.

Population continues to grow, the economy has been expanding demands for energy, and the opposite summer-winter requirements for energy have both increased. With restricted supply and growing demand, the price squeeze was predictable. The utilities are now paying four times as much for energy to be distributed to their customers than they can charge. This has led to a cash drain, a declining credit rating, near blackouts, and clearly a potential for bankruptcy for major utilities in California.

Governor Davis is preoccupied with political photo opportunities and lacks sound recommendations for finding a solution. His proposal to create a state agency to acquire generating capacity and to build new capacity with taxpayer funds is a reversal of the concept of deregulation and a return to state control.

The split personality of the total regulation voided the original objectives of deregulation. A return to tighter government control at greater taxpayer expense is the wrong way to go.

Jack B. Lindsey Santa Barbara, Calif.

President Clinton is no role model

How sad it is that within 30 years we elected two presidents who had great potential, but who disgraced themselves in office.

A presidential historian recently remarked on public television that in democracies, character for all men and women was the major arbiter - even for presidents. She said that it would not be President Bill Clinton's sexual dalliances that mar him, but the way he repeatedly lied to his cabinet, his lawyers, his advisers, his family, to the judicial system, and to the American people.

Yet Mr. Clinton insists he did not lie and that his actions were morally acceptable, even when the country's children need mentoring and role-modeling more than ever.

Pat Hartsfield Lubbock, Texas

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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