Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Disbands Entire Cabinet in Bid for Re-Election

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf disbanded all but one member of her entire cabinet, in what her official statement calls a necessity for a “fresh slate” as she seeks re-election next year. Is this a bold leadership move, or just plain rash?

President Johnson-Sirleaf is the first female President in Africa and was only supposed to serve one term, but she has made clear that she seeks re-election next year.

So on the one hand, her no-nonsense decision to just get rid of everyone indicates a fierce personality and the mark of a leader who knows what she wants. This was certainly an “executive decision,” and she didn’t bother with much explanation to her cabinet members other than that her administration is “entering a critical stretch and this would afford her the opportunity to start with a fresh slate going forward,” according to the official government statement.

On the other hand, the decision seems a bit abrupt–a quick decision that begs the question: Weren’t other options available? Compromise and diplomacy are also admirable and necessary traits in a leader, so one has to wonder what was really going on behind the scenes.

It brings to mind some of the questions from Fast Company’s 30 Second MBA series, like What a Risk Worth Taking? Is President Johnson-Sirleaf doing the right thing?

Follow me, Jenara Nerenberg, on Twitter.

[Image: Uwe.Kerkow]JN