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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti


And the 2010 Leader of the Year is...

Read our leadership panelists' nominations below, then vote here for the winner:

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on December 20, 2010 1:26 PM
Amy M. Wilkinson

The unsung heroes: Enterprising entrepreneurs

Despite struggling with a recession, a bank crisis, a real estate meltdown, a technology shift, uncertain policy outcomes in Washington and scant access to credit, entrepreneurs persevered in 2010, all the while creating...

Posted by Amy M. Wilkinson, on December 30, 2010 6:35 PM

The mobilizer: President Obama

I don't agree with all of President Obama's policy agenda, but it is hard to argue that he has been anything but successful in advancing the very types of policies he said he would...

Posted by Ed O'Malley, on December 29, 2010 9:42 AM

The coach: Mike Krzyzewski

In a year where upstarts like the Tea Party and Mark Zuckerberg are hailed and covered, I will take the leader with a career of excellence...

Posted by Peter Hart, on December 22, 2010 5:45 PM

The brave: Salvatore Giunta

Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta represents the potential in all of us to take actions than transcend our self-interest when the moment requires the best from us...

Posted by Michael Useem, on December 22, 2010 5:38 PM

The peacemakers: Daniel Ellsberg and Veterans for Peace

For those of us who in this holiday season hope for peace on Earth, let us renew our commitment to work for a peaceful world. And if we believe that war is not the answer in 2011, let's join those who are standing up for peace. After all, Daniel Ellsberg has been...

Posted by Juana Bordas, on December 22, 2010 5:25 PM

The U.S. auto revivers: Alan Mulally and Ed Whitacre

The two of them deserve enormous credit for restoring America's automobile industry, just when it appeared that American-owned auto companies were a thing of the past. They are doing it "the old-fashioned way": not with short-term moves and...

Posted by Bill George, on December 22, 2010 4:24 PM
Warren Bennis

The man of all seasons: Sidney Harman

"If and when I die," he once said to me, during a tennis match years ago. I took that seriously. When the business world, in particular, is desperately looking for leaders with...

Posted by Warren Bennis, on December 22, 2010 4:12 PM

The overcomer: Barack Obama

My reason for choosing him as leader of the year is that he, more than anyone else, has guided, pushed and often persuaded skeptical and independent legislators to...

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on December 22, 2010 4:02 PM

The givers: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett

The Giving Pledge is shaping social expectations around wealth and is suggesting an enlightened form of capitalism that redefines personal success...

Posted by Angel Cabrera, on December 22, 2010 3:54 PM
Robert Goodwin

The issue confronter: Bill Clinton

I don't always agree with his politics or his approach, but I think he has shown a willingness to take on the tough...

Posted by Robert Goodwin, on December 22, 2010 3:46 PM
Paul R. Portney

The higher educators: Steven Sample and John Sexton

Like government, universities are filled with employees that are often nearly impossible to fire; they are bastions of political correctness that make management more challenging than in the military or the...

Posted by Paul R. Portney, on December 22, 2010 3:38 PM
George Daly

The debt tackler: David Cameron

More than any other world leader, he has not only acknowledged the tremendous challenge and necessity of dealing with a huge public debt but also has proposed specific...

Posted by George Daly, on December 22, 2010 3:26 PM

The helpful hands: You and your neighbor?

here were those who helped people trapped under rubble. There were those who helped organize others to find water, set up shelters and care for new orphans. There were...

Posted by Deborah Ancona, on December 22, 2010 3:20 PM

The legislator: Nancy Pelosi

Despite millions spent to scapegoat her in the last election and the Republican's obvious glee at knocking her out of the Speaker's throne, Pelosi is leaving this position with dignity. More importantly...

Posted by Kathryn Kolbert, on December 22, 2010 10:24 AM
Katherine Tyler Scott

The community rebuilders: Linetta Gilbert and Kelly Lucas

I have two nominees with whom I have had the privilege of working; both are professionals in the field of philanthropy. They are profiles in leadership and capture the vision, passion, courage, skill and tenacity needed to bring about real community change...

Posted by Katherine Tyler Scott, on December 22, 2010 10:00 AM

The courageous: Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth embodies several leadership traits that we frankly do not see enough of in some of our better-known leaders in business, politics and sports. First, she has plenty to teach all of us about...

Posted by John R. Ryan, on December 22, 2010 9:46 AM

The unknowns: Your manager, perhaps?

I nominate all the leaders--executives, managers, supervisors, team leaders--who fly under the radar. You know the ones I mean. Their staffs, team members and employees rave...

Posted by Carol Kinsey Goman, on December 21, 2010 1:52 PM

The sacrificers: First responders, American troops and Bill Husfelt

It has become fashionable in some circles to deride a lack of leadership. But that is to overlook the service of all the men and women who put themselves in harm's way for the benefit of...

Posted by John Baldoni, on December 20, 2010 4:17 PM

The reformer: Adm. Mike Mullen

Testifying to Congress about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the Admiral persuasively summed up the issue: "For me it comes down to integrity"...

Posted by Amy Fraher, on December 20, 2010 4:13 PM

The agenda setters: Tea Partiers

They represented the largest genuine mass movement in generations to enter the political arena with a clear goal...

Posted by Slade Gorton, on December 20, 2010 4:05 PM
Ken Adelman

The mitigators: David Cameron and Nick Clegg

Protesters might terrify formal-attired Camilla and Charles. But even that turned out fine. With budgets being slashed, there's no way to avoid such resistance--whether from students with scant tuition or from beneficiaries with lavish government handouts. But the harmony, decency and rationality of the Cameron-Clegg team...

Posted by Ken Adelman, on December 20, 2010 4:00 PM
Susan Peters

The activist: Aung San Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under arrest for her support of democracy in Burma--and yet she has managed to serve as an inspiration for millions of...

Posted by Susan Peters, on December 20, 2010 3:12 PM

The education innovators: Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada

Both of these leaders are tough, determined and committed to reversing the appalling decline in the academic performance of children educated in the United States...

Posted by Alaina Love, on December 20, 2010 3:06 PM

The reputation riskers: Dick Durbin and Tom Coburn

To me, leadership is an activity, not a person. It is something some people do some of the time; not something some people are or become. No one exercises leadership 24/7...

Posted by Marty Linsky, on December 20, 2010 2:56 PM

The protectors: Salvatore Giunta and George W. Bush

The reasons both men held the national spotlight could not have been more different, but the two figures are inextricably linked...

Posted by Col. Charles D. Allen, on December 20, 2010 2:45 PM

The visionary: Ron Paul

Congressman Paul is a man of character. He does not retreat from his opinion in the face of hostile opposition and corporate-controlled media...

Posted by Don Vandergriff, on December 20, 2010 2:33 PM

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