My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


The Essence of Leadership

Reuben Navarrette's piece got me thinking about one of my favorite topics: Leadership.

The number one characteristic, in my opinion, in a successful leader is a sense of humility with regard to the service that they owe those who follow them. In other words, the central characteristic of leadership is, actually, service.

This is why the first few years of the Bush administration were marked by such success--he behaved as if his sense of duty to the country were a much greater consideration than his re-election prospects. He chose to serve the country by giving it back more of its money, by riding out to meet our enemies on their turf instead of ours, and by pushing fundamental reform of the public schools. Many can argue that these weren't the right choices, but they were hard choices, all of them, and his choosing to tackle them marked him as a strong leader. This is also why I think that perception may be slipping just a little: his latest moves on immigration and, to a lesser extent, prescription drugs, don't ring true to service to the country--they seem like pandering for votes. This is compounded by his relative weakness at articulating how these initiatives serve the greater good.

Compound that with the daily grumbling of the oxygen-sucking Dem Presidential candidates, and you have the makings of a soft center of the electorate. And this is where elections are won and lost. I hope that once the President has one opponent to concentrate on, he is able to regain his stride and display the sort of selfless leadership that marked his early months.

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