Eagle Talk

Presidential Debates – Your Study in Leadership

As you watch the Presidential candidates in the so called “debates”, listen carefully to what they say and how they say it. Critically examine their communication style and process.  Are they creating within you a strong sense of shared values allowing you to feel you can trust them with the highest office in our nation? Keep in the forefront of your awareness these six Core Leadership Values that constitute the DNA of successful leaders allowing them to build trust, respect and shared values comprising a strong Team of Teams: Integrity, Truth, Moral Courage, Trust, Loyalty, Honesty and Caring.

Language is power.  Successful individuals, regardless of their role, position or career, all share the ability to be effective communicators. In doing so, they inspire others to want to follow and trust them.  Perceptions are a reality to the individuals who hold them.  One of the great challenges for effective leadership is one’s ability to communicate your ideas into your listener’s view of the world. Doing this well with style and ease is critical for success. You must have a clear understanding and appreciation for the other person, what they believe, and why.  It requires being an outstanding listener, able to ask questions drawing out the other person’s experience, wisdom, and world views, giving you insights into understanding their world view and what motivates them. 

Never underestimate the power of personal integrity.  It is a critical asset for real leadership.  Effective leaders always set an honorable agenda, adhere to a code of professional conduct, never trying to justify dishonesty and deceit, better to “Fail with honor than win by cheating.” Character is one’s destiny.  True leadership is ultimately traceable to factors of character and personal integrity: much of what is called “Destiny, lies in our hands, and not in mysterious forces beyond our control.”

I would urge you to use the Presidential Debates as a learning experience for honing and sharpening your skills and insights. Effective leaders always embrace the truth, always encourage candid criticism throughout their organization, are skeptical of flattering appraisals, and never allow their authority to place a wedge between them and the truth.

My best wishes to each of you – enjoy the debates.

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