I am getting tired of the presidential race. We know who is running for the Democrats, but we have no idea who will win the Republican nomination. I am not holding my breath because none of them rock my boat. Today’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about Newt Gingrich. The article discussed his evolving platform. He now has a pro-growth perspective and a voluntary flat tax. He is also promoting Reaganomics as opposed to Obamanomics. As I read this I wonder what it will take to be our leader, one who has the responsibility of leading the free world?
These thoughts have motivated me to about what it takes to be a leader? Obviously, a successful leader is someone who has the skills to lead. Throughout history we see individuals who desire to be out front, and even those that did not want the job of being front person, but in most cases these individuals had the skills to do the job. The next question is what are those skills?
In my estimation these skills are holistic. They encompass the whole person. They have communication skills, in other words they can paint a picture of what they want to accomplish in such as manner that we buy into it and collectively “get er done.” A leader is someone who personifies some type of moralistic reality that is important to his or her constituency. There is something right about what they say, and they say it in a way that a shared vision is created. We can believe in the leader and what they say.
A leader also has an aura of power. This is a socialized power that demonstrates this person is on the job for the good of the people. This leader has a charisma that helps us follow. The dyad is real and meaningful. There is a positive end in sight.
However, all of these charismatic characteristics can be misleading. Hitler is a classic example of a leader who was able to communicate, create a shared national vision people grasped on to, and lead a nation into a Fascist culture that wanted to create the Millennial reign of the Fuehrer.
We have to be careful with leaders. Gringrich is a guy who has been around for a long time and brings some baggage. Can he lead? He was the speaker of the house at one point in time, so he can be out front. However, I am not too sure he is a person that can be what we need today to lead us back to the high ground of world leadership. I am not to sure any of them can do that, but maybe that is not what we need?
Although I am tired of the debates and attack ads, I know I have a responsibility to pay attention. I have a duty to cast a knowledgeable vote. If I don’t I will get what I deserve. If we don’t maintain engagement, we will be led down Hayek’s “road to serfdom.
And that is my thought for the day!