Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Experience and Leadership

Each of the four people on the two tickets has "experience" -- and they are touting that experience as evidence of their qualification for president. Those experiences include legislative experience, military experience, administrative experience, community organization experience, and personal life experience.

Quite frankly, we all have experience. That doesn't automatically mean that our experience translates into qualification for the kind of leadership that is required to be the head of state.

From your perspective, what are the leadership qualities that you expect to see in the person who will be the President of the United States? Then, what experience is critical in preparing for that role, what is helpful, and what is irrelevant?

Considerations for discussion:
  • Do you want your leader to be like you or to inspire you?
  • Should their rhetoric be truthful even when campaigning to friendly audiences?
  • Is it important how the world see the leader of the U.S.
  • Should the President inspire fear around the world or command respect?

Looking forward to your thoughts! Click the comments link below to add your voice.

1 comment:

Dwight Toavs said...

This is a very interesting and thought provoking set of questions:

Q: Do you want your leader to be like you or to inspire you?

A: I want my leaders to inspire me and be more than the average Jane or Joe up the street. Anyone who is like me I consider a peer, despite the fact that he or she may be a leader of a particular group in certain circumstances. But when considering the qualities we want to see in a presidential candidate, I believe we need to think beyond ourselves and those like us. Who would be a good leader for all 300+ million Americans?

Q: Should their rhetoric be truthful even when campaigning to friendly audiences?
A: Absolutely! Someone who is not believable, or is seen as being deliberately untruthful, loses the respect of those he or she is trying to lead. Once the unspoken bond of truthfulness and respect has been broken, that person is never again viewed as a credible leader. Doubt, or worse, displaces the kind of trust we like to have (and need to have) in our leaders.

Q: Is it important how the world sees the leader of the U.S., and should the President inspire fear around the world or command respect?

A: Yes it is important how the rest of the world views U.S. leaders. Here again trust and respect are essential - and by contrast, agreement is not that important.
It is important that the President inspire respect. Gaining someone's respect begins with the fundamental qualities of the person and then extends to the person's behavior. Behavior and rhetoric must be congruent and consistent. On the other hand, it is far easier to inspire fear. Perhaps that is why fear is the tactic of choice for bullies, thugs, terrorists, and dictators.