All Posts Tagged With: "Leadership"

Dictators vs Coaches

I was reading a book yesterday by John Maxwell called “Developing the Leaders Around You” (1995, Injoy, Inc.)  On page 161, Rev. Maxwell describes the difference between dictators and “dream team coaches”, or “facilitators”.  In Maxwell’s words:



Hoard decisions. Push decisions down the line.
Make decisions alone or restrict them to an elite group. Involve others as much as possible in key decisions and give people space to make those decisions.
View truth and wisdom as their domain since they are the leaders. View truth and wisdom as being accessible to everyone throughout the organization.
Surprise their workers with edicts from above. Let those responsible decided how the jobs will be done.
Guard their own interests. Serve everyone’s interest by developing people.

A Letter to Our New President

Dear President Obama:

Congratulations on your historic ascendancy to the office of the President of the United States.  You are now the leader of the free world.  My hope is that you understand the gravity of this office and that you are serious in reaching out to all Americans, myself included.

I have to be honest.  I didn’t vote for you.  Some of your campaign rhetoric seemed designed to do nothing more than to win the election, even though you and I both know that there was no way you could adhere to the promises you made.  But many of my fellow Americans were unable or unwilling to think critically, so now you’re my President.

I apologize that I was unable to watch your inauguration …

VP Debate Preview

We do plan to live blog tonight’s debate, so gather around tonight around 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

I suspect tonight may be more influential to the election than last Friday’s debate between McCain and Obama.  And hinges mostly on how well Palin looks.  If Palin performs poorly, Biden could just stand there and smile and win the debate.  If Palin does well, or even okay, that could seriously swing things the other way.

From all the media discussion, it sounds like Biden will likely keep the gloves on and treat Palin with respect.  The thinking is that he will avoid any reference to her gender in a disparaging way (probably a good idea) and will even give her room to make mistakes without pouncing on …

First Presidential Debate: Exercise In Futility, Part 2

This is Part 2 of the analysis of Friday night’s Presidential Debate.  Part 1 was posted on Saturday.


Lehrer asked for a “reading” of Iran by the candidates.  Are they a threat?  Both candidates made it very clear that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran was not acceptable.

McCain did a good job of highlighting both the big risk against Israel, and the risk to the entire region if Iran has nuclear weapons.  McCain also pointed out again the need for thoughtfulness in diplomacy when dealing with countries whose leaders are as evil and wicked in their comments against America and her allies, specifically Israel.  He pointedly criticized Obama for making just such comments.  McCain also promoted his “League of Democracies” as a …

First Presidential Debate: Exercise In Futility, Part 1

Here’s Part 1 of my assessment of Friday night’s Presidential Debate.  Part 2 will come on Sunday.

All I can say is, I was wrong.  Jim Lehrer does want to be the next Tim Russert.

I will say, I did not sense any partisanship on Lehrer’s part, but he sure dug into follow up questions, including a lot quizzical looks in reaction to the answers.  Making matters a bit worse was his oafish attempts at turning the debate into a conversation, almost as if McCain and Obama were seeking marital counselling.  “Say that to Senator McCain”.  “Direct yourself to Senator Obama”.  “Do you agree with Senator Obama?”.  I don’t know if that was part of the original ground rules that was set prior to …

McCain Will Suspend Campaign, Requests Postponing Debate

John McCain today announced he is suspending his campaign while he works in Congress to resolve the current economic crisis.  He also asked that the debate scheduled for this Friday night be postponed.

Here are John’s remarks made today in New York City (courtesy of the McCain-Palin campaign):

America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever[y] corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this

Preparing For The Debates

Friday night, September 26, will be the first formal debate between John McCain and Barack Obama.  The event will be held at the University of Mississippi, and will be hosted by Jim Lehrer.

Thankfully, Lehrer is already established enough that he won’t try to be another Tim Russert.

At this point, I think it’s helpful to resurrect the list of practical candidate questions we discussed back in May.  These questions came from a a conference that was held at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.  It’s worth simply revisiting the list:

  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

Gustav Gives Us An Obama Dry Run

My husband has been after me to contribute my thoughts to his blog instead of just hashing them out with him. After reading the story “Obama: My donors can help victims” in the Des Moines Register today, I decided it was time.

I confess I was taken in by Obama’s message of change. I believe our country and both the Democratic and Republican parties are all at a crossroads which will determine a lot of things for the future. While we may still be considered a “superpower” in military might, we have sadly lagged behind the rest of the world in education, economic growth and dare I say the overall physical health of Americans. We do have a great health care system and I wouldn’t …

McCain, Obama and Rick Warren

We were channel surfing on Saturday night because the Olympic coverage was of the women’s marathon, which I liken to watching paint dry, when we happened upon Rick Warren’s interviews of the respective candidates.  The least I can say is that the contrasts were spectacular.  John McCain was the all-around winner, (unless he was being judged by Olympic judges, in which case he would have placed second due to some unusual tie-breaking formula!).

Senator McCain opened up the proverbial can of Whompem on Senator Obama in these areas:

  • Clarity–McCain’s remarks were straightforward, transparent and to the point.  It’s why he also got to answer more questions.  His answers were focused, and his intent was clear.  Note to Obama–at no point in the next eight years

Local Republican Leaders Provide Candid Perpective

Steve Deace had probably the best group of people on his show today for talking about local Republican politics and why we are struggling as a party to make an impact in the Iowa Statehouse, and on the national scene. The group included outgoing Polk County (Iowa) Republican Party Chair and State Central Committee member Ted Sporer, National Committee Woman Candidate and Iowa Right To Life President Kim Lehman, Steve Scheffler President of Iowa Christian Alliance and National Committee Man Candidate, and Stew Iverson who is chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Quite an interesting banter. I have not had time to listen to the entire broadcast (podcast page here) but am listening to it now.

The big item from …

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