Good Questions

This month, a conference was held at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Out of this event, a consolidated (and winnowed down) list of 15 questions were created that were deemed valuable for asking the candidates for President.  They were:

  1. Can you share some examples of when you were a catalyst who brought groups with polarized opinions together so that all voices were at the table?
  2. Tell us about a high-performing team that you’ve built. What are the most important principles you’d follow in governing and leading your senior White House team?
  3. In the past, how have you responded to, evaluated, and learned from the mistakes – your own and those of your team?
  4. The U.S. ranks first in incarceration and 18th in high school graduation. What leadership skills do you bring to the challenge of reversing these numbers?
  5. What are your five core values and how do they shape how you lead?
  6. Tell us about a time when your judgment has been tested in crisis. What do you want us to appreciate about your judgment?
  7. The internet and technology have flattened the political playing field, allowing for collective decision making in new ways. How will you balance our ability to have a more participatory democracy with the need for executive decision-making?
  8. Young people have engaged in this election in greater numbers than ever before. How will you keep them engaged?
  9. Many of the hardest decisions in the White House won’t be consensus decisions. What will inform your decision making?
  10. What experiences have you had that have helped you deeply understand the mindset and values of another culture?
  11. In what ways will you help Americans realize the challenges we face and do the hard work of overcoming them together?
  12. The role requires decisiveness. Share some examples of your ability and willingness to be decisive.
  13. How will you create an environment for innovation within your leadership team?
  14. As the transition occurs, you’re not going to get the kind of help you want, as quickly as you want it. Will you describe how you would work in a bipartisan way to speed up the confirmation process so that your office can begin to get some things done?
  15. Do you have the courage to be lonely?

Not the kind of questions you’d expect to hear from Tim Russert, eh?  These questions provide significant substance and touch on key leadership skills that will be vital in our next President.

I wonder if any of them dare answer?

Hat Tip to David Yepsen at The Des Moines Register.

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.


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