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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

An age limit on leadership?

When he died this week, Robert Byrd, who was a frail 92, had represented West Virginia in the Senate for more than 50 years. Is it generally a good idea for top leaders in any sector to serve that long, or that late in life? Given the common instinct to hang on, should limits be imposed?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on June 28, 2010 12:37 PM
FROM THE PANEL
Ken Adelman

Salad days for our Senators

If they choose an old geezer, let 'em.

Posted by Ken Adelman, on June 29, 2010 5:03 PM

Federal fatwas not necessary

Elected leaders don't decide for themselves when to step down.

Posted by West Point Cadets, on June 29, 2010 10:38 AM

What the Founders rejected

In a democracy, the decisions of the voters, not arbitrary age limits, ought to control who serves in Congress.

Posted by Kathryn Kolbert, on June 29, 2010 10:34 AM

A term too long

Senator Byrd, like Senator Thurmond ahead of him, served at least one full term too long, both for the institution and for their states, mostly as a result of ego and/or record seeking.

Posted by Slade Gorton, on June 29, 2010 10:29 AM

No time for 'throw-away' leaders

If we identify leadership capacities as the primary criteria for judging an individual's ability to lead, we would have far more age diversity in the workplace and in public life.

Posted by Katherine Tyler Scott, on June 28, 2010 3:14 PM
Howard Gardner

Test for competence

With improvements in medical science and in health generally, we need to be flexible about retirement ages.

Posted by Howard Gardner, on June 28, 2010 2:54 PM

Knowing when to move on

We'd probably lose more good leaders by imposing "term limits" than we would benefit by forcing some to go after some arbitrary period of time.

Posted by Barry Posner, on June 28, 2010 2:48 PM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

berringer-mclane: When George Washington declined another term in office, he earned the admiration of world leaders at that time. He also emphasized the conc...

paeg: TERM LIMITS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR PRESERVING LIBERTY! Legislative seats were NEVER intended to be a life-long, fulltime job. Current lifetime ...

lidiworks1: I think that as long as elections are fair and the people want you to stay, you should be able to. Justices should have term limits because ...

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