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09 November 2012

On Leadership: Good Character, Self-Awareness, and Authenticity

This week, Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States.

During the President's first term, the recent campaign, and the days since his re-election many people have commented about his leadership skills.  Some comments have been praiseworthy while others have been critical. 

To me the qualities central to leadership are good character (and the values underlying it), self-awareness, and their companion, authenticity.

The morning after his re-election, President Obama visited his Chicago field office to thank the young adults on the staff for their hard work over the course of a grueling campaign. His remarks were brief, contemporaneous, unpolished.... and moving.  Why? Because they were from his heart and soul. They grew out of his good character (and the values underlying it), his self-awareness, and his authenticity.

In this sense, I believe that President Obama is unique among leaders of similar station. Those of us who aspire to leadership and those of us who study it can learn much from him...




11 September 2012

A Quiet Dark Memory

Today is September 11
I woke up
And didn't think about it
I took a walk at lunchtime
It was a beautiful
East coast
Late summer day
Sunny
No humidity
75 degrees Farenheit
I looked up
The sky
Perfect  blue
Not a cloud
Then
My mind
Grew dark
For
At that moment
I remembered
It was a beautiful
East coast
Late summer day
Sunny
No humidity
75 degrees Farenheit
I looked up
The sky
Perfect blue
Not a cloud
Eleven years ago
September 11