On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

High marks for State of the Union?

The grades from our leadership panel average out to a B+ for the president's address. What grade would you give him? Read our leadership panelists' responses below, and add your own grade.

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on January 25, 2011 8:11 PM
FROM THE PANEL
Paul R. Portney

B+

Speeches are bountiful and talk is cheap...

Posted by Paul R. Portney, on January 26, 2011 10:47 AM
Gail S. Williams

A

He was future focused, as I believe all good leaders must be...

Posted by Gail S. Williams, on January 26, 2011 10:35 AM

A-

From the point of view of leadership, not politics, the president's speech did several things right...

Posted by Joanne B. Ciulla, on January 26, 2011 10:32 AM

B-

If you were a technology entrepreneur, there was a lot to like. If you were one of the 48 million Americans living below the poverty line, you must feel not only voiceless but invisible...

Posted by Bill Shore, on January 26, 2011 10:29 AM
Warren Bennis

A

Witness tonight's anemic Republican response...

Posted by Warren Bennis, on January 26, 2011 10:11 AM
Katherine Tyler Scott

A

It was a message that inspires us to recall and embrace the true American character: a nation of people who believe in themselves, who value freedom and democracy...

Posted by Katherine Tyler Scott, on January 26, 2011 10:05 AM

A-

While President Obama began his State of the Union address with an appeal to cooperation and working together, his central challenge to the members of Congress and the nation was creating jobs (mentioned 25 times)...

Posted by Jim Kouzes, on January 26, 2011 10:02 AM

A-

As an educator, I appreciated his emphasis on education...

Posted by Rick Rochelle, on January 26, 2011 9:56 AM

A-

I know that most panelists will be commenting on the substance of President Obama's remarks, but as an executive coach with expertise in nonverbal communication, here is my rating for the president's body language...

Posted by Carol Kinsey Goman, on January 26, 2011 9:33 AM

A

Obama has finally grown into his presidential shoes...

Posted by Juana Bordas, on January 26, 2011 9:00 AM

B+

Consensus building is a messy process. I have seen this within a team of just 12 individuals, let alone 535 voting members of Congress...

Posted by Coro Fellows, on January 25, 2011 11:48 PM
Deborah Ancona

B

This was not an exciting speech, and there was not a lot of detail on how to move forward. There was no dramatic plan for dealing with a deficit that...

Posted by Deborah Ancona, on January 25, 2011 11:48 PM
Peter Hart

B

The atmosphere in the chamber was muted in a strange way--one almost felt as though the Congress believed they...

Posted by Peter Hart, on January 25, 2011 11:45 PM

A

America is back. The Chilean story toward the end provided the unifying narrative--a small town guy running a small company in Pennsylvania, leading the rescue without waiting for any coach to call him into play...

Posted by Ronald Heifetz, on January 25, 2011 11:43 PM
Kathryn Kolbert

A-

The picture was of a united body with the president leading. And as we know, the picture is a crucial political takeaway...

Posted by Kathryn Kolbert, on January 25, 2011 11:40 PM

A-

Can we rally behind a committed centrist?

Posted by Marty Linsky, on January 25, 2011 11:32 PM
Barbara Kellerman

B

I give the speech a "B."

Posted by Barbara Kellerman, on January 25, 2011 11:30 PM

B-

The American people sent a very clear message this last election that they were tired of the expansion of government and it excesses. And President Obama did little to communicate that he truly understands the concerns of citizens...

Posted by Robert Goodwin, on January 25, 2011 11:27 PM

A-

His catch phrase, "Win the future," was simple and compelling...

Posted by Martin Davidson, on January 25, 2011 11:23 PM
Donald Kettl

B+

The challenge for the future, in growing 21st century jobs, was forceful and engaging. The blueprint for getting government and its budget under control, however, was much weaker...

Posted by Donald Kettl, on January 25, 2011 11:20 PM

A-

The speech promoted an understanding of the stark reality we're facing and demanded of us a willingness to sacrifice to...

Posted by Alaina Love, on January 25, 2011 11:14 PM
Barry Posner

B+

A great beginning ("sit together tonight, and work together tomorrow") and a great theme ("Winning the Future"). And, like most of these speeches in the past, the rest is pretty much forgotten...

Posted by Barry Posner, on January 25, 2011 10:49 PM

C+

President Obama's speech was a "A" in tone and style but was a "D" on substance, especially in connection with...

Posted by David Walker, on January 25, 2011 10:47 PM
Tom Monahan

B

Overall the challenge for a leader is to link a broad, often disparate set of important activities into a coherent theme. This speech...

Posted by Tom Monahan, on January 25, 2011 10:45 PM

A-

The minus is because I consider that, besides science and technology, both innovation and a good life require education in the arts and...

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on January 25, 2011 10:36 PM
Marie Wilson

A

He told stories. And it's stories that a family (or our political family) lives by, especially in such a complicated time...

Posted by Marie Wilson, on January 25, 2011 10:35 PM

B

Good themes, too long.

Posted by Jeffrey Pfeffer, on January 25, 2011 10:32 PM

Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

FEATURED COMMENTS

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (55)

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company