Tuesday, January 02, 2007
A 21 Adjective Salute
As I saw and took in the images of the past few days on the passing of President Ford, it got me to thinking again about leadership. Our members talk about it all the time as well, and for any of us who have been thrust into such positions or even if we have aspired to such positions, it isn't until you are faced with the challenges of leadership that you really start to develop an appreciation for just how difficult it is.
As I thought about that in terms of the things I have done over the course of my career, and then tried in my mind to extrapolate those experiences to the burdens faced by a president (any president) it is pretty humbling to say the least.
But at all levels of business, we continually hear (and see) the crying need for leadership. (Enron anyone?) So, as I was thinking about this, and watching the pageantry of a presidential passing, where as much of what we see is about respect for the weight of the office as it is about the man I started to think about the images that came to mind as I thought about him? There were, of course, many that crossed my mind as I listened to one of the 21 gun salutes.
It was at that point the thought came to me that maybe I could offer my own salute in the form of 21 attributes I thought he demonstrated. If some of them make sense, then maybe as business leaders we could transfer them to our own situation. Said differently, if he could do it, we should be able to as well.
Here's my list:
1. aspiring: but not to the point of pandering.
2. astonishing: in terms of the issues he had to deal with when he came to office. Some compare them to what faced Truman.
3. befitting: of the office.
4. capable: for sure.
5. comfortable: was how he made people feel.
6. courageous: to have pardoned Nixon, agree or disagree, it took guts to make the decision, and that was just for openers.
7. credible: pretty important quality in a leader.
8. decisive: another key ingredient in a leader.
9. earthy: as in "down to."
10. erect: he carried himself well.
11. feigned: something he didn’t do, he was a believer.
12. gutsy: see #6.
13. honorable: not a word we hear much of these days.
14. industrious: from what is said about him, to say that he was would be an understatement.
15. likeable: both sides of the aisle said so.
16. political: sure, but willing to compromise and listen.
17. sincere: felt that way to me.
18. tough: would sure want him on my team.
19. thoughtful: rarely sounded like he was shooting from the hip.
20. warm: he had that kind of a smile that put you at ease.
21. whimsical: nice sense of humor.
Thank you for your service Mr. President.