In observing the history of U.S. presidents today, does degrees of separation matter like in times past? It is extremely important for leaders to develop essential leadership skills along with communication skills to be effective in the age of knowledge that we live in today; it is expected in today’s society and we should expect them to live up to this standard of excellence.
When we look at presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, what can we learn about what separated them in leadership style, communication patterns and effectiveness?
Abraham Lincoln sprung up from humble beginnings, and developed excellent oratory skills. He was also able to develop a level of emotional intelligence during his time, even though the term was not coined as such yet.
Barack Obama is known to be a charismatic leader with oracle skills akin to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and known to have high IQ and skills to be a consensus builder. Ronald Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator,” and certainly had the ability to connect to the American public. His background in acting probably was an asset on one of the greatest stages on the planet.
Bill Clinton has been called one of the greatest one-on-one communicators on the planet, and when he speaks to a person it is said that he focuses on them like no one else in the world exists at that moment.
When we look at many of the candidates in the current presidential election, we do not see the above presidential qualities candidates should possessed to some degree. Becoming an effective leader and communicator of noteworthy achievement requires activity knowledge, book knowledge and good old fashioned intuition to make the right decisions, after we ponder various methods of learning and coming up with the right decision based upon the sum and total of available knowledge.
Any serious presidential candidate in this century should not be deficient in displaying the highest degree of skills in the areas of communication and leadership. In fact, the act of running for one of the highest offices in the world should enlighten any woman or man seeking such an office.
If any candidate for the U.S. presidency seriously engages the American public and takes away much of what they learn from listening to the American public on the trail to the white house, they will invariably become a better person through understanding some of the vast points of view of the American public.
“The highest level of leadership requires in addition to integrity and practical transparency, the ability to know well the common denominator that positively arrest the attention of their highly diverse constituents. Once arrested, they skillfully inspire them to passionately act.” – Winnie Benjamin, the program director of Stewardship Masters International, Inc and certified independent leadership coach and mentor on the John Maxwell Leadership Team.
I would encourage all politicians who are running for election, regardless of the position of the particular office, to study both the life and times of great leaders to get a feel of the substance, style and times which strengthened the decision making capacity of great leaders both in the past and the present.
I would say that my greatest achievement thus far is in using everything that I have learned in all of my prior work experiences, life experiences and leadership development positions to bring visions of excellence and greatness into reality.
Phil Andrews is the president of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. located online at www.liaac