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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein
Hosts, "On Leadership"

Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein

Ben Bradlee is vice-president and former executive editor of The Washington Post. Steve Pearlstein is The Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist.

Vote for the Best Leader of 2008

Our panelists are sending in their nominations, now it's your turn to vote. Here's our question:

Aside from Barack Obama (Time magazine already named him Person of the Year), and thinking broadly across all sectors of life, who would you name as the year's best leader?

Click here to read all panelist nominations or leave a comment with your own nomination.

  • Sec. of Defense Bob Gates
  • Abraham Lincoln (via his inspiration)
  • Gen. David Petraeus
  • Fr. Richard Frechette, who cares for Haiti's poor
  • Atlanta Falcon's owner Arthur Blank
  • Columnist Tom Friedman
  • Penn State football coach Joe Paterno
  • Everyday, unsung leaders
  • Outgoing Walmart CEO, Lee Scott
  • No one -- just look at the economy
  • Tampa Bay Rays' manager Joe Maddon

By Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein

 |  December 31, 2008; 12:08 PM ET
Category:  Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I am not aware about other leaders but have read a lot about Lee Scott. He is an amazing person and a true American hero. It is very unfortunate that all the things that are said about him and Wal-Mart are twisted or pure blatant lies. In his speeches, he always talks about the common person and his struggle for day-to-day living. He inherited lot of labor and other issues but instead of running away from the issues, he met the challenges head on. He started talking about sustainability and health care long before it was a fashionable to talk about corporate sustainability.
We do not realize but the things that he has done in sustainability and corporate world has made so many people better off and made our planet a better place. Of course, my views may be biased but they are as my ID suggests "My View".

Posted by: ItsMyView | January 6, 2009 1:40 PM
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Why is Tom Friedman on this list?!?!? For writing what must be the most inconsequential book I've read in the new millenium? I cannot believe that he is even being considered for this! I've gotta support Al Gore, and Colin Powell, but I think REAL leadership has been in short supply this past year, especially from the Republican party, who bear a big part of the responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. Certainly the war "leaders" have done nothing to impress me, and no CEO of Walmart deserves ANY kudos for raking in money hand over fist. I'll just be glad when Bush and Cheney (two ANTI-Leaders) are safely out of office!

Posted by: squirebass | January 1, 2009 3:51 PM
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The upheaveal in society that is occuring at his moment of time reminds me of nothing so much as 1968 when the old order of New Dealers and Camelot left-overs clashed head-on with the newly insurgent Conservative movement. At that time due to the huberious of the Left, the dirty tricks of the Right and a general fatique of the public for the street theater of the radicals, the Right came out triumphant in form of Richard Nixon's election and the dragging on of the Vietnam War for the next 5 years.
Now with the election of Obama, the Center and the Left have another chance to establish themselves in the minds of the electorate as hearlding in meaningful and positive change. However, I think that attempting to implement these changes successfully and for the long term will demand that Obama and Co. switch tactics from the current Celeberity cult of a central Strong-man type leadership and begin to push for stronger local politics and local leadership. This will mean that to a certain extent (and in contrast to the previous Administration), they will have to be willing to give-up a certain amount of control over the processes in Washington and turn that power over to the States and local government.

Posted by: Birddog08 | January 1, 2009 2:08 PM
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Mr. Bradlee and Mr. Pearlstein,

I have a very different list and definition of heroes: a hero is someone who displays courage in unselfish service to others.

My list doesn't contain highly-paid professional football coaches or millionaire CEO's from big-box stores. I respect, but don't admire those who wage war.

My heroes are Colin Powell, who admits his mistakes and bravely speaks out so all Americans can be heard. The Dalia Lama, who consistently urges compassion and peace in our strife-torn world. And Al Gore, who exemplifies public service by championing the fight against global climate change.


Posted by: crispinpierce | January 1, 2009 11:53 AM
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