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Newswire: Our Leadership Today

    I would like to direct you to some good weekend reading. Financial Times columnist Stefan Stern, writes about the paradox of managing change. Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, writes about how leaders are not offering a new path, they are only offering old paths and its effect on society. And finally, in the U.S. News & World Report, David Gergen reflects on our leaders and suggests that if we can retain the spirit of the early republic, giants may walk among us again.
  • Failing to Cope With Change?
    by Stefan Stern, Financial Times

    Stefan Stern shares a comment from a chief executive of an engineering business that had led a vigorous turnaround of a failing company. He said that once a company has been stabilized it can be much harder to make progress, to go “from good to great”, in Jim Collins’s popular phrase. “People no longer see the need to change,” he argued. And the longevity of some employees can become a problem. They have seen it all before. They know how things should be done. They have nothing left to learn and no reason, they believe, to start doing things differently.

    Another executive commented: There was also a difficult balance for leaders to strike, he said, between “being yourself”, revealing all the different aspects of your personality, good and bad – important in winning trust – while remaining convincingly in charge. You have to be honest about the things you do not (and cannot) know, while trying to create as much “predictability” as you can. “You try to explain that things are changing. But people still crave stability,” he said.

  • We're Governed by Callous Children
    by Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

    We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.

  • The National Deficit—of Leadership
    by David Gergen, U.S. News & World Report

    That the leadership deficit now seems so chronic suggests that the problem goes deeper than the quality of the individuals who come to power. There is something in the culture that makes leadership even tougher and more perilous than it should be. Why, asked Thomas Jefferson, did the American Revolution create a budding democracy while the French Revolution—coming at virtually the same time and with similar values—ended in tyranny? The answer, he thought, could be traced as much to the quality of the followers as to that of the leaders: American citizens were more accustomed than the French to responsible self-government.

    Our leaders today are discovering, with a vengeance, how much followers matter.

* * *

Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:45 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about NewsWire


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