Jack and Suzy, I’m With You
My partner Jeff just sent me this article; it's Jack and Suzy Welch's column from Business Week. In it, they opine about Obama's leadership. They give him an A.
I find I agree with them, and for all the reasons they cite. I especially liked what they had to say about why Obama has the quality of "vision" (what I would call "far-sighted"):
Let's start with vision, the "thing" without which a person simply cannot lead. And look, whether you like his politics or not, Obama's obviously got it. From the economy to the environment, education to health care, the President has articulated his goals to the nation.
Vision, though, is meaningless alone. To be an effective leader, you must communicate consistently, vividly, and so darn frequently that your throat gets sore. You can't, as we've said, communicate too much, especially when you're galvanizing change.
Who could disagree that Obama's nailing this challenge? Every time he speaks, which is often, he's thoughtful, expansive, and candid. And he has also worked assiduously to get heard outside of Washington, even showing up on Jay Leno's set to reach beyond the "usual suspects." Again, we wish that Obama's message was sometimes a different one, but when we heard his NATO press conference last Saturday—explaining America's "exceptionalism"—his lucidity and lack of arrogance rendered any criticism moot. He will surely be the next American President to carry the mantle of The Great Communicator.
If you are a leader, at any level, I encourage you to read the whole article and ask yourself whether you have the qualities the Welches ascribe to Obama.
Whether or not you believe Obama possesses these qualities, in writing about them Jack and Suzy have offered an excellent litmus test for leadership, especially for these challenging times.