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The Cult of Personality…Why the President has to Lead

Alright the truth squad is in the house. I am the president’s biggest fan so let’s be clear about that. But, I am starting to see a pattern in the president’s administration that I find disturbing. The pattern? Everytime one of the president’s proposals or issues get challenged by the right, his advisors trot him out to give a speech and engage the public with his personality. Sometimes I think it’s needed like in the rev Wright fiasco. But, other times like in the case of the stimulus, cash for clunkers program, and more recently healthcare it seems as though the president is the only one in his administration who can speak with any substance on an issue.

Leadership in the 21st century is not about being out front or about the power of one’s personality. Instead, leadership is about being credible, generating commitment, enabling cooperation, and ensuring that major systems operate in coordination.

The prez cannot become a “cult of personality” where he is trotted out to mobilize people by his charisma alone. No, instead others within his administration need to assume a bigger role in promoting his agenda. And sometimes that means drawing a line in the sand, not beecause you want to be disagreeable, but because it’s just the right thing to do.

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