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Marty Linsky
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Marty Linsky

Co-founder of the leadership-focused consulting firm, Cambridge Leadership Associates, Marty Linsky teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School, co-authors the advice column, Leadership House Call and blogs at Linsky on Leadership .

Laundering Nixon

Former Vice President Cheney is perfectly entitled to defend and explain his policies and to challenge the Obama Administration. I assume he is doing so in good faith. Undoubtedly, the story he is telling himself is that his continuing voice is in service to the country. He always seems to conflate his way and "the right way" of looking at the world. But what he is doing has nothing to do with leadership. Pandering to your own constituency is the antithesis of leadership, as widespread as the practice is.

Cheney seems to be incapable of self-reflection and does not realize it is impossible to separate the debate from the debater. He has little credibility, so neither does his argument, except with his small cadre of already committed followers. Nevertheless, his vitriol keeps him center stage, feeding the appetite for conflict, and crowding out other potential Republicans and administration critics, who might have a better opportunity to make a contribution and be heard because they bring less baggage. He seems unconscious of the reality that he being used by the media and by the Obama Administration. He serves them well, to the detriment of the values and policies he seems to care about so deeply.

Richard Nixon made the transition from pariah to statesman, but it took time, patience, and a healthy absence and abstinence from the fray to launder himself.

By Marty Linsky

 |  May 12, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
Category:  Followership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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