Lately, I’ve been wondering what kind of leadership this moment in history is calling for. It’s an obvious question for an executive coach to ask, yet not necessarily easy to stick with. So many other questions distract the mind: what’s happening in the stock market today? Will the bailout do any good? What’s going to happen in the next Presidential debate? Should I keep all my cash under the pillow or diversify by burying some in the backyard? Why is my little toe purple? (Answer: stubbed it).
Another distraction is to talk about what type of leadership we don’t need. This is an easy conversation to fall into. Give me even one friendly ear, and I can carry on for five or six hours about Dick Cheney, the damage he’s caused, and my sense that he will end up as one of history’s great villains. I could also tell you why, even today, we underestimate him at our own peril.
But is solving the problem of Dick Cheney–or any other leader you or I don’t like–by itself going to make a better world? Probably not. In my case, I would be able to fall asleep better at night but not necessarily have any greater impetus to get out of bed the next morning. That’s why criticizing leaders we consider dangerous (or at least lousy) is mostly a waste of time and energy. [Read more…] about Brutal Facts + Positive Emotion: The Leadership This Moment Calls For [October 2008]