Saturday, January 5, 2008

In this age, could a Quiet Leader be elected president?

I admit, I am pretty fascinated by the politics of the presidential election. However, I also know that I will likely tire of the intensity. Only 300 days until the election.

The intensity of the campaign has even overflowed into the world of leadership blogging. This overflow was noted this past week in two ways:

  1. I received an email from a person representing the authors of a book that I reviewed on the Lead Quietly blog last year. The purpose of the email was to suggest that if I agreed with the leadership concepts of the book then I would find that will be the change leader required by our nation in the coming years.
  2. I use Google blog search gadgets that allow me to track what leadership bloggers are saying about the key quiet leadership elements of vision, balance, learning, and community . However, in the past weeks, political analysis and opinion are increasingly present in these gadget presentations on my iGoogle homepage.

The question that this "intrusion" left me to ponder was, "Could a Quiet Leader be elected president?"

Seems highly unlikely.

  • Influence today seems to depend on very public events, speeches, sound bites and rallies. (I still chuckle when I think about Huck and Chuck rallies in Iowa.)
  • We assume that learning on the part of candidates has already occurred. We don't accept "I don't know" or "Let me ponder that" answers for questions on national policy. And heaven help the candidate that makes a public blunder or mistake in an answer to a question.
  • Nominations are no longer made in quieter back room negotiations. Dwight Eisenhower, our last quiet leader president to win an election, was largely drafted and didn't even announce his candidacy until after he won the New Hampshire primary.
I don't think it's possible for us to ever elect a Quiet Leader. What do you think?

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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