Friday, September 16, 2005

Leadership Lessons

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It is sometimes easy to forget how lucky we are to have a real leader. I can remember, back in the nineties, beating my head against a wall several times because of the amazing vaccuum of leadership I felt from the White House. Then, if I think back to being a teenager, I knew then that Carter was a total wimp, albeit a good Christian wimp (well, that's what I thought back then!). We have seen piss-poor leadership in this country in recent years... there is no doubt about that. All the more important it becomes, then, to recognize the opposite when it occurs.

Watching George W. Bush handle 9/11, the war, and now the hurricane; I am more impressed than ever at his basic leadership qualities, which are on display right now. I may not agree with all of the things he is saying and doing right now, but I can appreciate his mastery at how he is saying and doing them.

His subtle approach to responding to his critics is something that frustrates many of us who want those idiots punished NOW... but it has proven effective for him over the years, and will probably be a primary reason that history will ultimately be very good to him. He continues to hold himself above the brawl... he maintains an attitude that dirty political trash-talking is beneath the office of the President. He does that very well.

Rush Limbaugh talked about what it must be like to be President Bush... how hard it must be to wake up every day and know the kind of scurrilous garbage the media is going to throw at him. That has to be horrible. Awful. No one wants to spend every day of their life knowing that people are saying such awful things about them.

Watching the President operate, though, you wouldn't know that such things were being said about him. He acts as if he is completely unaware of the morons and their mud attacks. He continues to carry himself as a leader, while the bottom dwellers scurry around in the muck beneath him. Looking at George W. Bush, you believe that he believes that he is in charge. That, my friends, is half the battle.

Another part of the battle is to be competent and to surround yourself with the best people you can find. I think that any honest assessment of President Bush's legacy will show that he accomplished that. Rummy, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, et al... this is a dream team extraordinaire.

Finally, when you measure the President against his "peers," you find that they come up seriously lacking. Investor's Business Daily has a very good piece about all of the noise coming from world "leaders" and what they actually accomplish (nothing)... and how that contrasts with President Bush:

[[ Say what you will, but this president has not shied from big tasks during his five years in office. Democratizing the Middle East. Reforming Social Security. Cutting taxes to pull us out of recession. Spearheading post-tsunami relief for Asia. And now rebuilding America's South after the worst hurricane damage in a century.

No question, Bush is a doer. And given the daunting challenges facing humanity, we're glad for it. The last thing we need is more hot air.
]]

He is not just a "doer"... he inspires others to be doers, too. That is the mark of greatness.

To be sure, I am a fan of the President- but hardly an idol worshiper. I absolutely do not agree with all of his policies, and I am, in fact, quite upset with him on some of them (read: illegal immigration). One thing is sure, though, the man is a leader.

I know true leadership when I see it, and in the case of George W. Bush, I see it... in spades.

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8 Comments:

Blogger AcademicElephant said...

Why is this such a difficult concept for people to grasp about Bush? After last night, it seems so clear.

Anyway, nice post.

16/9/05 20:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its hard for anyone to grasp any truth about the president because the media patently refuses to present it.

16/9/05 21:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool name BTW, Academic Elephant!

16/9/05 21:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, brother. W is just about exactly what America (and the world!) needs right now. I just hope you are able to find another such person for your next few elections. Heaven knows the present political environment does nothing to encourage such folk to run ...

Steve

17/9/05 00:04  
Blogger saj said...

I heard a story about the President that sheds a lot of light on how and why he takes the constant heat. He once said that he heard God telling him to run for President of the United States (he was called by God) and that was something he never wanted to do. Do you remember the ridicule that he took by the far left for saying this? George Bush is a very religious man and a good Christian listens when God speaks. He feels that God is guiding and sustaining him. I would be willing to bet that he knows the scripture verse very well that says:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

I bet he also relies on the book of Romans for strength:

... we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:3-5

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined ... And those he predestined, he also called, those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:28-31

I know without a doubt that these verses and many more give him the strength that he needs to withstand the constant vicious attacks by those who hate him.

There is a book that I have been wanting to read called, "The Faith of George W. Bush." I suggest that anyone who want to know how he gets up everyday and faces the evil that confronts him read this book.

Thanks, KMG, for another great post.

17/9/05 04:57  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

Thanks.

17/9/05 05:36  
Blogger Tsar Lazar said...

Pomoze Bog.

When speaking on the morality of Pres. Bush, one of the things that I have most respected about him (and it is a sign of leadership) is that he has always taken the high road when it comes to criticism. He has always kept a steady, "I know I'm right" silence while folks like Kennedy and Biden have ripped him up and down. And, I think, the American people (especially the Silent Majority who really count) have seen this and approved.
As kmg pointed out, Bush is a do'er; he is not, by any means, a great speech-maker. His speeches do not inspire the way Ronald the Great's did, but when Bush speaks you know HE MEANS WHAT HE SAYS. Clintoon was a great off-the-cuff speaker; one of the best I've seen in my lifetime. But he was also a LIAR and a PANDERER, which means you could not trust him to do what he said he would do (unless he invited you up to his office for "drinks" [wink, wink, nudge, nudge]...).
When hearing what Rush said yesterday, I recalled two statements by one of the greatest Presidents of the 20th century, Richard M. Nixon:

"Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

""The greatness comes not when things always go good for you. But the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments when sadness comes. Because only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."

Those two quotes (to me, at least) embody President Bush. May God keep him and the United States of America as we celebrate the signing of our great Constitution.

Tsar Lazar

17/9/05 08:51  
Blogger kmg said...

Thank you, SAJ, for the nice Words...

17/9/05 13:15  

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