Leadership for Our Divided Times

The Divided States of America. A Nation Divided. America’s Political Divide Keeps Getting Wider.

You see the headlines everywhere. Our country is in the throes of unrest and division. Now more than ever, we need effective leaders to step forward.

What makes a good leader? It depends on the circumstances, of course, but there are certain universal principles. Forbes Magazine asked prominent business leaders to come up with some common traits.

Great leaders:

  • Make hard choices
  • Earn the team’s respect
  • Push people to be their best
  • Set a clear vision
  • Serve a greater cause
  • Motivate others to follow

In my 35+ years as a global health care consultant, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most effective leaders on the planet. So, I would add my own definitions to the Forbes list. Effective leaders are capable, prepared, decent and good.

Effective leadership may seem simple – or even obvious – but it’s not. Leadership is purposeful. It requires focused effort and hard work. “Leaders are born, not made” is a debatable point. Yes, many people are born with leadership traits. But some of the most effective leaders I know had to learn, grow and develop into what they are today. These leaders were made, not born.  These leaders are competent.

Noted leadership scholar Warren Bennis put it this way: “The truth is that major capacities and competencies of leadership can be learned if the basic desire to learn them exists.”

So where do we find those willing to learn? And how do we prepare them to lead in this challenging environment? In my next post, I’ll talk about one respected and successful program that is committed to advancing a legacy of leadership in our communities and our nation.

Let's get in touch.

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