The Bush Dilemma

The Bush Dilemma I think I’ve finally articulated The Bush Dilemma that I am having as a moderate Republican with the upcoming election. Here was my dialog with Fred, an ardent but utterly rational Democrat, the other night at dinner. Matt: Kerry is clearly a much smarter person than Bush, but I tend to agree with Bush’s philosophy and positions on more issues than I do Kerry’s. Fred: If you agree with him on the top 10 issues, then you should vote for him. Matt: I agree with him on most of MY top 10 issues…but not on most of HIS top 10 issues. Fred: That’s a dilemma. I suspect many other moderate Republicans have this same dilemma. Whether they…

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part III: The First Debate

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part III: The First Debate Well, there you have it. Both of my first two postings on this subject — Realism vs. Idealism and Admitting Mistakes — came up in last night’s debate. At one point, in response to Kerry’s attempted criticism of him for expressing two different views on the situation in Iraq, Bush responded that he thought he could — and had to — be simultaneously a realist and an optimist. And a few minutes later, Kerry admitted a mistake and brilliantly turned the tables on Bush by saying something to the effect of “I made a mistake in how I talked about Iraq, and he made a mistake by taking us to war…

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part II: Admitting Mistakes

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part II: Admitting Mistakes The press conference this past spring where President Bush embarrassingly refused to admit that he had ever made any big mistakes, other than to reiterate his gaffe at trading Sammy Sosa when he owned the Texas Rangers, brings up another issue in this series: is it good for leaders, both political and corporate, to admit mistakes? On the corporate side, I think the ability to admit a mistake is a must. Again, I’ll refer back to Jim Collins’ books Good to Great and Built to Last, both of which talk about humility and the ability to admit mistakes as a critical component of emotional intelligence, the cornerstone of solid leadership. And in…

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part I: Realist or Idealist?

It’s election season, the GOP convention is literally in my backyard, and while this is not a political blog, I can’t help myself. As we as Americans grapple with the question of who we want to be our next leader (or at least those people who live in the 11 annointed swing states do), I have had a lot of thoughts lately about the question of what makes a good leader, and what the differences are between successful leadership in politics and successful leadership in business. James O’Toole’s article on President Bush on page 31 of the September issue of Fast Company (no link available yet) brings up a really interesting point in comparing Bush to former president Ronald Reagan….