Essay on Leadership in the 21st Century

Published: 2021/11/16
Number of words: 1536

Issues presented in the case

The case is about the raw sewage that is flowing into the Tijuana River. The waste products have created a crisis that affects the people living along the border and the immigrants and the officers. The officers try to maintain law and order in the area. The case uses the term ‘crises on the border’ (Stahl, 2020). However, the crises are caused by immigration issues, drug smuggling, and poor health due to the dirty waters flowing along the border river. Many smugglers find it easy to cross across the river since the security is not highly enhanced.

It makes it hard to deal with the sewage system effectively is the river flows between the two countries: the United States of America and Mexico. The two countries blame each other, and each thinks that the other should be responsible for cleaning up the river and the surrounding areas. This has made it hard to clean up the area and monitor how the neighboring people dispose of their waste products (Stahl, 2020). Each country blames the other for the issues, making it easy for the smugglers and the illegal immigrants to find a way of crossing over.

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Another issue presented in the case is the health concerns due to the waste products that flow into the river. The debris and the waste materials are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. As a result, the people around this region get infected with malaria. This means that all the people are prone to diseases and infections, whether one goes near the river or not. Also, the smugglers get bacterial infections while trying to cross the river as the water has medical wastes, fecal coliforms, and other drug-resistant bacteria (Stahl, 2020). All these are possible causes of all sorts of infections, which can even lead to death.

The waste and the debris are preventing the primary mission of the border patrol officers. President Trump erected a wall so that the water can flow freely. However, since the water flows like a torrent, it becomes hazardous, especially during the rainy season. This forces the border patrol agents to open up the grates to prevent the waste and the debris from clogging the systems. When the grates are opened, the smugglers pass through the tunnel and cross over to the other side (Stahl, 2020). If there is no officer on the other side, then the smugglers enter the country easily. This makes it hard for the border officers to control movements, preventing illegal immigration. Also, the smugglers face a lot of dangers while crossing in the sewage. Some of them are rescued, decontaminated to prevent them from spreading bacterial infections to other people. In addition, the agents are also harmed during the process.

Your analysis of the identified issues

The above issues are critical, and the situation will continue to worsen unless they are dealt with effectively. The two countries need to come together and develop suitable strategies that will help alleviate these issues. The sewage flowing into the Tijuana River means there is no proper sanitation in the neighboring areas. The sewerage system needs to be improved in both countries so that less debris and waste materials are flowing into the river. Also, security must be enhanced at the borders so that the drug smugglers do not find a way of crossing over the river. Stahl (2020) states that the laws are there, but there is no enforcement. If enough officers are employed, and the mayor becomes strict on factories that direct their waste materials to the river, it will be easy to bring about positive changes.

It is easy to change to see the people who live near the borders have a better and healthy life. However, this means that the mayor must be ready to deal with these issues altogether. For this to happen, the people must be involved since they are the ones who have caused all the problems. The above issues are more complicated since it is along the border. As a result, the mayor must be ready to deal with border officers from both sides. Although this might seem complicated, it can be achieved if good techniques deal with these problems. I will advise the mayor to do a thorough analysis of these issues. To make it easier for him, he must survey the areas and the river to know the exact extent of the damages. In my opinion, these issues are complicated, but it is possible to deal with them provided there is effective leadership whose aim is to bring about changes and make the lives of the residents safer

Your approach to leadership utilizing ideas presented in the course to solve the issues you identified

Dealing with the issues presented above requires one to have effective leadership traits. One of the ways that will make it easy to deal with the issues is by being a responsible leader. According to Hao & Yazdanifard (2015), effective leadership helps to bring about positive change. The positive change will be accomplished in several ways. The mayor of the Imperial Beach must be ready to go to the beach to assess the situation. At this point, I will not advise the mayor to delegate duties to others as they might not report all the critical issues. Besides, if the mayor sees how the situation is critical, he will be more determined to deal with the issue and make the border one of the safest places for the residents. At this point, the mayor must show that he is responsible by doing his duties and ensuring that all rules and regulations are followed.

As a good leader, the mayor must be ready to lead by example. The mayor must use relational leadership to help him relate to the people who live around the borders and the beaches. Following this, I will advise him to show the people how to dispose of their waste materials. Isaacs (1999) discusses the importance of dialogue and thinking together. I will advise the mayor to consult different professionals who are involved in the environment and sanitation. This will make it easier for the mayor to gain critical insights on dealing with the discussed issues and possible solutions. Also, the mayor must involve the people who live in the area to be part of the changes that will be made. If the people do not know the adverse effects of their actions, it will be hard to control; them. Involving them and dialogue with them will make it easier for the mayor to reinforce the changes.

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To make it easier, I will advise the mayor to develop various projects to help people recycle waste products. I will help the mayor come up with different ways that will help deal with the issues effectively. I will advise the mayor to put up signposts at the beach that indicate how people dispose of their waste products for easier management. In addition, I will advise him to carry out campaigns at the border to educate the public on the importance of disposing of waste products. The people can be taught how to make biogas with the waste materials instead of disposing them and letting them flow into the river. Like Wheatley (2006) states, sometimes it is hard to bring order to a chaotic world. The mayor must be ready to deal with all kinds of objections since we will be dealing with people who are used to committing crimes, for example, drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. I will therefore advise the mayor to be very patient since he might get a lot of objections from the people. However, he should not give in to their objections; instead, he should help the people see the need for a change.

If the necessary changes are made, then the health of the people will highly improve. Also, the two countries will have better relations since there will be no waste materials directed to the river. For all these changes to take place, the mayor must be ready to engage in system thinking. He must think critically so that the decisions he makes subsequently do not affect the residents negatively. Positive changes erupt from effective and positive leadership. If the mayor embraces his responsibilities, it will be easy for him to make the necessary changes for the people.


Hao, M. J., & Yazdanifard, R. (2015). How Effective Leadership Can Facilitate Change in Organizations through Improvement and Innovation. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: A Administration and Management15(9), 1-5.

Isaacs, W. (1999). Dialogue. The Art of Thinking Together. Crown business publishing.

Stahl, S. (2020, May 31). Raw Sewage Flowing into the Tijuana River Brings Toxic Sludge to California. CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved August 7, 2021, from

Wheatley, M. J. (2006). Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. Barrett-Koehler Publishers.

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