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The Leadership Test

You know, funny thing about that 'President' job that so many folks are going after; it's often called "Leader of the Free World", and for me that brings up the qualities of leadership, and who does (and does not) show they are a leader. Leadership has become a buzz word in recent years, and there are all kinds of courses and books which promise to help one become a leader or improve their leadership skills. Well, I should not be too cynical; Parris Island has done a fine job of producing leaders for a long long time, so I suppose it can be done if you have the right material and some real good instructors. Then again, if someone wants to be President of the United States, they'd better have their leadership qualities already in place and ready to go, and that takes us to a look at what I will call my Leadership Dashboard. You see, even though the question of whether leadership can be taught, a lot of folks agree on what a real leader does. For all the talk and jibber-jabber about who will win the Primaries and the General Election, the real race starts with a simple sort-out between the leaders and the phonies. Simply consider the following qualities, and ask yourself who, if anyone, exhibits them among the candidates of any party:

1. A Leader declares goals and ideals
2. A Leader is not petty
3. A Leader looks ahead, not behind
4. A Leader does not obsess about his image
5. A Leader is optimistic and enthusiastic
6. A Leader does not make decisions because of polls
7. A Leader is confident of success
8. A Leader is neither hesitant nor reckless
9. A Leader sees Opportunity, and takes the chance
10. A Leader trusts his team


Sound like anyone on the ticket to you?


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Comments (32)

Yes. Sounds like Fred Thomp... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Yes. Sounds like Fred Thompson.

Nope, but it sure sounds li... (Below threshold)
Robert Author Profile Page:

Nope, but it sure sounds like the guy they want to replace.

DJ, I like your leadership ... (Below threshold)
cartman:

DJ, I like your leadership test. I would however, modify it slightly.

1. A Leader declares goals and ideals.
2. A Leader encourages creative solutions to complex problems.
3. A Leader makes decisions bases on a rational set of criteria.
4. A leader never chooses ideology over reality.
5. A Leader looks ahead, and behind, to insure He/she learns from past mistakes in responding to future problems.
6. A Leader is optimistic and enthusiastic.
7. A Leader does not make decisions because of polls, but is willing to listen to the opionions of others to test whether he/she might be wrong.
8. A Leader is confident of success, but not foolishly overconfident.
9. A Leader is neither hesitant nor reckless.
10. A Leader sees Opportunity, and takes chances, but knows the odds and exercises restraint when prudent.
11. A Leader trusts his team.

GW all the way. Cartmans' a... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

GW all the way. Cartmans' adjustments just reaffirm what is wrong with liberals. They are too squishy. Too wiggly. If you ask a liberal what their favorite color is they would say "Plaid". Conservatives are confident people. ww

Sorry for bringing in all t... (Below threshold)
cartman:

Sorry for bringing in all that nuance simple willie.

Yeah - that does sound like... (Below threshold)

Yeah - that does sound like Fred and it explains exactley why he is where he is in the polls. The American Public is no longer smart enough to accept such a President.

Fred's standing in the poll... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Fred's standing in the polls has more to do with the campaign's inability to gain press coverage.

cartman, You reall... (Below threshold)
Chip:

cartman,

You really shouldn't make asthmatics laugh so hard.

Guiliani comes closest to f... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Guiliani comes closest to fitting the leadership model of all candidates (He does lack in some other areas, however.)

"Leadership" is one of the defining differences between the 2 major parties.

Republicans generally want someone with passion for his/her ideas which are developed from lifetime core principles.

Democrats want "someone who understands me, thus is like me"--in other words a "representative", not a leader.

I'm happy to see someone st... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I'm happy to see someone still likes Fred - I thought he was the forgotten candidate. After much consideration, I have recently decided (within the last three days) that Fred Thompson is the only candidate I can support. Though I still have a few reservations about Fred, he is the one I have the fewest reservations about. If Giuliani wins the nomination, he'll have to do without my vote for president.

Huckabee would seem to be my natural candidate since I am a conservative Southern Baptist myself, but there are several things about him that do not set well. We apparently aren't drinkers of the same "Jesus juice."

Conservatives are confid... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Conservatives are confident people.

Confidence doesn't make you right.

Fred Thompson came to mind ... (Below threshold)
914:

Fred Thompson came to mind immediately when I read DJs "authentic list" as opposed to Cartmans "fraudulent one", and He is far and away the only candidate Im comfortable with..

Simply consider the foll... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Simply consider the following qualities...

Wow, you so completely missed the point of what makes a leader. All your qualities pertain to the attitude and behavior of the leader himself, but they take no account of how he makes others feel.

A leader does not need to be optimistic, he needs to inspire optimism. He doesn't need to feel confident, he needs to inspire confidence. He does not need to trust others, he needs to make others trust him. You don't judge a leader's quality by what he does; you judge it by his effect on others.

The qualities you listed could equally be descriptive of someone who is cocky, arrogant, and delusional. Because you didn't consider the most important aspect of a leader... that others follow him.

914,There are auth... (Below threshold)
cartman:

914,

There are authentic and fraudelent leadership tests? What a stunningly stupid statement, it is all subjective.

So which part of my post did you object to? The part where I said a leader should inspire creative solutions to complex problems? I take it then you prefer no solutions to complex problems.

Perhaps it was where I said a leader should use a rational criterial for making decsions, I take it since you are against that you must be for an irrational criteria for making choices... that would explain a lot about you.

Maybe it was the part where I mentioned looking to the past to learn from your mistakes. I take it if you run into a door you are dumb enough to do it again and again just to prove you won't learn from your mistakes.

You might have objected to the part where I said a leader listens to others who disagree. Got forbid a leader here someone else's perspective on a matter. to test their own thiking if nothing else. I can see why you would be against that.

My post was not a partisan post, just thoughts on the qualities a leader should have. I agreed with much of what DJ listed. You act like DJ has spoken and that the offical definition of leadership has been decided. Come back when you can think for yourself.

DJ, that's a very good list... (Below threshold)

DJ, that's a very good list of traits you compiled. But I think a new value of "authenticity" is suddenly becoming important where Clinton, Giuliani and Romney are all suffering a recent slide at just the wrong time because they are being seen as too phony and willing to tell voters anything to be elected. By comparison both Huckabee and Obama are getting a second look by many voters because both seem to be more honest in what they really think and really "level" with the voters.

Surprised to see any real support for Thompson here. His stock is definately headed straight down at this time, with Huckabee taking much of the conservative vote. Thompson has about as much of a chance as a Dennis Kucinich at this point.

Kucinic never had any chan... (Below threshold)
914:

Kucinic never had any chance accept maybe in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood area or on Mars maybe?

Hucksterbee is not taking any votes amongst any conservatives I know? and in fact is not a conservative at all (rino).

This is the funniest thread... (Below threshold)
mantis:

This is the funniest thread I've seen on this blog in a while. Thanks for the laughs.

Fred, hands down.I... (Below threshold)
Morrissimo:

Fred, hands down.

I (half) agree with Clancy: I think Fred's uncompromising, straightforward stances are why he's down in the polls. The MSM (and major talk radio, for that matter) can't make him scandalously interesting enough to grab hold of ears and eyes.

Fred had my vote before he announced, and he's still got it now. If he doesn't get nominated, I'll write him in -- there's no way in hell I'll vote for Gun Grabbing Giuliani.

Wild Willie-If ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Wild Willie-

If you ask a liberal what their favorite color is they would say "Plaid".

LOL!

Yes, Fred Thompson.... (Below threshold)
kathie:

Yes, Fred Thompson.

Brian, your point is very v... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Brian, your point is very valid. Simply put, I belive you are saying a true leader inspires people to follow.

Yet, it would be hard to inspire people to be optimistic if you are a pessimist, it would be hard to have others be confident/belive in your plan, if you are not confident, etc. etc.

The test of leadership is..."did the people follow (willingly)?". However, all leaders do have certain traits--thats DJ's point.

However, all leaders do ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

However, all leaders do have certain traits--thats DJ's point.

Yes, but they're not the traits he listed.

Yet, it would be hard to inspire people to be optimistic if you are a pessimist, it would be hard to have others be confident/belive in your plan, if you are not confident, etc. etc.

Not true at all. History is full of great leaders who we later learn went to bed every night hoping for the best and doubting themselves. Those were the good ones.

Brian, the individual poses... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Brian, the individual posessed of the traits DJ's listed will inspire others find those same qualities in themselves. It's an inherent function of having those traits. DJ is correct.

"Wow, you so completely ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"Wow, you so completely missed the point of what makes a leader."

Brian, I am shocked that you can reach your keyboard or even get anywhere near your desk with that big log sticking out of your eye.

"All your qualities pertain to the attitude and behavior of the leader himself, but they take no account of how he makes others feel."

No wonder the Democrat congress has the lowest approval ratings in history. Rhetoric without action is meaningless. Leaders lead by example. Inspiration means convincing people of their true potential - that they can aspire to greatness and succeed. We live in the land of abundance and opportunity, the greatest and most prosperous nation in history. Democrats can only carp about how badly everybody's life sucks.

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." - Samuel Johnson

"To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone." - Harry Truman

"What makes leadership is the ability to get people to do what they don't want to do and like it." - Harry Truman

"All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible." - Orison Swett Marden

"People who let events and circumstances dictate their lives are living reactively. That means that they don't act on life, they only react to it." - Stedman Graham

Notwithstanding your incomp... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Notwithstanding your incomprehensible metaphors, thank you for supporting my point, Jeff. Especially with your second Truman quote.

Rhetoric without action is meaningless. Leaders lead by example.

Exactly. DJ's qualities are all about attitude, not action, which was exactly my point.

No wonder the Democrat congress has the lowest approval ratings in history.

Yes, for not challenging Bush enough. Though approval of Congressional Democrats is still twice that of Congressional Republicans. But you digress...

Brian, the individual po... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, the individual posessed of the traits DJ's listed will inspire others find those same qualities in themselves. It's an inherent function of having those traits. DJ is correct.

An inherent function?!

"I say we must eliminate gravity! I do this not for me, but for you and your children. Yes, you may think me a fool, but I know we can do it, and that our world will be a better place. And we must begin right now, while gravity is not expecting it. This is the time, and I have faith that you will not fail me in our quest to save humanity."

There. I just expressed all of DJ's traits. I am now inherently a leader! Woo-hoo!

"Though approval of Cong... (Below threshold)
914:

"Though approval of Congressional Democrats is still twice that of Congressional Republicans.."

Like Hell bud!

DJs listed qualities are every bit as much about action as they are attitude..!Man get that beam out of Your eye and lay off the kool-aid.

Actually Brian, there's a t... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Actually Brian, there's a thin line between being a leader and being an ass.

You haven't made it over to the good side of that line.

Brian said:<blockquot... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Brian said:

Notwithstanding your incomprehensible metaphors, thank you for supporting my point, Jeff. Especially with your second Truman quote.

Rhetoric without action is meaningless. Leaders lead by example.

Exactly. DJ's qualities are all about attitude, not action, which was exactly my point.

Wrong again Brian. My reading comprehension is better than that. Apparently you can't remember what you are writing from one comment to the next.

Let me spell it out for you. YOUR CRITICISM OF DJ:

"All your qualities pertain to the attitude and behavior [relates to ACTION] of the leader himself, but they take no account of how he makes others feel."

/snip/

You don't judge a leader's quality by what he does; you judge it by his effect on others.

Now, in typical Democrat double speak, you want to come back and claim that you said the exact opposite thing. You specifically first said that the prompting of feelings, not action, are what counts in a leader. You went out of your way in fact, to criticize DJ for his undue emphasis on what leaders "do."

This the leftist modus operandi. They say one thing to one group of people and a contradictory thing to another group, in order to evoke the all important "feeling of the moment." Cheap emotional response, devoid of logic and reason, is all the left cares about. You power mad people don't even know what you believe.

As for my "incomprehensible... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

As for my "incomprehensible metaphor" maybe this will help:

"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." - Jesus Christ

>"Though approval of Con... (Below threshold)
Brian:

>"Though approval of Congressional Democrats is still twice that of Congressional Republicans.."

Like Hell bud!

I erred, it's twice that of Congress in general.

Approval of congressional Democrats stands at 43 percent, twice that of Congress in general.

You do the math.

Wrong again Brian. My re... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wrong again Brian. My reading comprehension is better than that.

Apparently not that good.

I said "behavior", not "action". Now you can look at the dictionary and say "[relates to ACTION]", and then reinterpret my statement as if I said "action". But that's not what I said.

You specifically first said that the prompting of feelings, not action, are what counts in a leader.

Exactly. But how do you think I meant that a leader prompts those feelings in others? Through inaction? Obviously a leader needs to take action. But that action is doing things to inspire others, not walking around confidently whistling a happy tune or saying "I like me" in the mirror all day.

Here's what I said:

All your qualities pertain to the attitude and behavior of the leader himself, but they take no account of how he makes others feel.

So what you're doing is saying, "hmm, 'behavior' = action, and 'making others feel' = action, so therefore Brian is contradicting himself!"

If you can't understand my sentence above, then perhaps you should stick to quoting scripture and leave others to deal with rational arguments.




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