GOP Debate, The First of Many Interviews for a Leader

It’s back… the day of campaigning is upon us, with the kick off being the first GOP debate for presidential hopefuls.  The discussion has begun asking who is “Presidential Material” and of those who participated in the debate, who won. Conversations on talk radio run the gamut from  “Who can defeat Obama in 2012?” to “Who is the fiscal conservative?”  If the goal of the Republican  party is merely to soundly defeat Mr. Obama, then no one at this point seems to fit the bill; YET.

It is early, but each individual has been living a lifetime, and that lifetime represents whether he or she possesses the qualities that make for a strong, honest, courageous and Presidential character.

After searching the internet for thoughts on leadership and what makes  a good leader, I ran across this video.  The qualities found in leaders who have affected the world for the good can be summed up in what these young men describe as leadership.  Great leaders recognize their role as servants.  Great Presidents recognize their role as a servant of the people.

Numerous books and websites discuss what characteristics make a man or woman a leader.  These five leadership traits/leadership qualities  seem to resonate with those in the leadership business.

  1. Honest
  2. Forward-Looking
  3. Competent
  4. Inspiring
  5. Intelligent

It is good to see that honesty tops the list, as it is imperative for a leader to be trusted by others with power and decision making: yet humility is lacking in this list.  Humility allows a leader to lead by example. It is the trait that taught him to respect, serve,  and submit to the leaders in his life.  As stated by Aristotle,   “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.”

“Without vision, the people will perish,” according to the book of Proverbs.  A leader looks to the future, plans for the future, yet learns from the past.

Leaders must be competent.  In other words, they must have the needed skill, knowledge and ability to do what their job demands of them.  An individual running for President will not have all the working knowledge needed for such a powerful position, but one will be surrounding oneself with those who do have expertise in a given area. Competent leaders recognize that they need a support system to fill in those areas in which they are weakest.

Leaders are inspiring.  President John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  A rousing speech may temporarily inspire, but it is what one does with one’s life that has lasting affects on others.  Inspiration is more than being charismatic, rather it is living a life worthy of emulation.

Leaders are intelligent.  They are not however found only in Ivy League Universities.  It seems that our culture has defined intelligence as being educated in the most prestigious halls of learning.  Merriam/Webster defines it as: “the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reasonalso : the skilled use of reason(2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests).”  According to this definition, understanding and reason are foundational to intelligence.  One may have a gilded frame holding a parchment diploma from Yale or Harvard and yet be lacking in the area of intelligence.

The GOP must not choose a man or woman to serve as a presidential candidate because they are the best shoe in for victory over Obama.  We the people must be actively engaged in this interview process for the next President of the United States.  The leader of the free world works for us and we get to read the resumes and interview the candidates over the next few months to determine who is the correct man or woman for the job.  Our due diligence is mandatory in finding the leader who is humble, honest, forward looking, competent, inspiring and intelligent.  Of the 307,006,550 people living in the United States, someone must be exactly right for the job.


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