I would normally be hesitant to speak ill of those in authority. Not because I fear them, but because I don’t want to undermine them. However, having made several comments in some entries on this blog regarding the current Bush Administration that could be seen as negative, I owe an explanation of why I have chosen to color my comments the way I have.
Leadership is hard. Leadership in a society of “independent thinkers” is even harder. It requires the ability to clearly articulate a vision, and inspire people to strive for it. It also requires a clear understanding of values, an ability to collect, listen to, and learn from many good advisers, and an ability to see a path to an ultimate goal that doesn’t violate those values. Leadership is as much by example as by words - probably more so. Ultimately, leadership is about taking a stand even if no one stands with you.
In other words, leadership isn’t for everyone.
My comments about the current Bush Administration have been solely due to my perception that there is currently a lack of leadership in the White House. Clearly, many in the Bush Administration have management experience that should indicate leadership skills. Corporate management, however, doesn’t require true leadership (it can certainly benefit from it - it’s just not required). Why? Because in a corporation, the top down power will garner a certain amount of automatic acquiescence. That doesn’t happen in politics.
I’m sure President Bush is well intentioned. He might even be a nice guy - that’s certainly what the media reports indicate. But for some reason, at least to me, I don’t see in him those characteristics that describe true leadership. He has had flashes - the brightest one was at Ground Zero just after the 9/11 attacks. But in the day to day he only appears to be someone who avoids the slightest confrontation and seems unable to adjust to realities that don’t fit his perspective. And he’s not inspirational.
When it comes to those around him, I respect that he values loyalty. But it seems that he should value competence more.
It’s not all bad. I will credit Bush with sticking with his principles. I just wish his principles were better informed. I wish President Bush the best. I just wish he were a better leader. Our country could certainly use one.