Leadership Traits of a Great President

With little Abigael from Colorado wiping away her tears as she realizes that television will no longer be dominated by the campaigning of “Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney” we can exhale a little and watch the respective campaign teams begin their post-mortems.

We can marvel how each candidate tirelessly shared his vision, rallied an army of supporters to win the minds and votes of the electorate and in the process devoured a mountain of cash.

In his book “The President as a Leader” (2011), Michael Siegel examines the skills of five recent U.S. presidents and concludes that four qualities are essential to have a successful presidency. These are:

  • A compelling vision
  • A committed and effective team that transforms words and images into realities
  • The ability to select and deliver upon a few goals at a time
  • The wisdom to understand the consequences of decisions that are made.

Powerful as these qualities are they are not unique in my view to the presidential role. They are fundamental to anyone in a position to lead others. May these serve as reminders to each of us that leadership provides a unique window of opportunity to make a difference.




About Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock has been studying leadership effectiveness for more than 30 years. A former leader in environment, health and safety, and public affairs at The Dow Chemical Co., he learned that we all have leadership roles to play. He enjoys discussing new ideas and sharing practical ways we can all become better leaders.

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