Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti
How much of leadership is symbolic?
President Obama this week holds his first state dinner, an occasion devoid of substance but full of symbolic choices concerning everything from the guest list and menu to the entertainment and the first lady's dress. How much is leadership really about this sort of symbolic signaling? How important is it in accomplishing substantive goals?
Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on November 23, 2009 1:34 PM
Symbolic choices are certainly not "devoid of substance." Had President Bush shown up at Katrina the day it hit rather than "a few days later," would his sudden drop in approval ratings -- perhaps a turning point in his presidency -- have occurred?
Posted by Warren Bennis, on November 30, 2009 6:13 AM
The president should fill sought-after state-dinner seats with folks who aren't on his payroll - above all, members of Congress, governors, pundits and journalists, and lots and lots of big-time campaign financiers.
Posted by Ken Adelman, on November 23, 2009 3:23 PM