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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

A leader's sexual hubris?

Throughout history and the animal kingdom, leadership has been associated with sexual dominance. While we eschew that association in modern times, the fact of so many sexual scandals among public leaders, the latest being New York Congressman Eric Massa, raises the question: Why do so many leaders fall prey to confusing power with sexual charisma? Do leaders face more personal temptations than the rest of us?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on March 11, 2010 5:47 AM
FROM THE PANEL

From policy wonk to rock star

Washington is called "Hollywood for Ugly People" for the very reason that many leaders love the attention and ego-boosts that come with their newfound power.

Posted by Robert Goodwin, on March 12, 2010 3:52 PM

Beware, new leaders

Sexuality is a power source that has to be reckoned with in leadership -- and one we rarely discuss except when a scandal erupts.

Posted by Marie Wilson, on March 12, 2010 11:55 AM

The needy leader

Long ago, strong male leaders exerted sexual prowess. Now we have the inverse: Needy men seeking public attention via electoral politics and then illicit sex.

Posted by Alan M. Webber, on March 11, 2010 4:10 PM

The halo-pitchfork cycle

We crown leaders with a shining halo, then gather our torches and delight in running them out of town when they prove themselves human.

Posted by Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.), on March 11, 2010 2:45 PM

The female advantage

Why we don't see women in positions of power -- the precious few that there are -- exhibit sexual hubris?

Posted by Lisa Larson, on March 11, 2010 12:31 PM
Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr.

No private zone

The potent libido of some in power is unchanged. What has changed is the media, where new and 'scruffy' outlets have shrunk the zone of privacy accorded the powerful.

Posted by Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr., on March 11, 2010 7:09 AM

Powerful women not a turn-on

What we want is for leaders to have personal discipline. Is that too much to ask?

Posted by Juana Bordas, on March 11, 2010 6:13 AM

Sex and power

Why do so many politicians jeopardize their careers by giving in to sexual temptation? They believe the rules don't apply to them.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on March 11, 2010 6:01 AM
Coro Fellows

Appetite for arrogance

We have moved beyond allowing leaders to have, a la Henry VIII, whatever sexual conquest they desire. Too bad some of our leaders didn't get this memo.

Posted by Coro Fellows, on March 11, 2010 3:03 AM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

james_m_reilly1: I watched the Beck and King interviews the other night. He is a strange man and only a person with problems of some sort would want to exp...

jrsposter: I think attributing a greater inclination to adulterous conduct to those with power misses the mark. I think everyone has an inclination to...

NedKeitt-Pride: The first part of this question is bogus, as many of the commentators have already pointed out: regardless of what we publicly "eschew" as a...

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