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Archive: June 28, 2009 - July 4, 2009

Why We Need a National College for Civilian Leadership

Like military cadets, students at the proposed U.S. Public Service Academy would commit to five years of public service after graduation. A "West Point for public service" would send a powerful message about the value we place on civilian leadership in this country.

By Chris Myers Asch | July 2, 2009; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (37)

Immorality, Magnified

The public is more willing to forgive political leaders' love affairs than their indiscretions on the job. They are like us - fallible human beings - but unlike us, we entrust them to look after the common good.

By Joanne B. Ciulla | July 1, 2009; 8:37 AM ET | Comments (1)

Forgetting Your Followers

It's so simple and yet so many leaders forget -- in the heat of passion, greed, or embarrassment -- to ask themselves what the people they serve would think?

By Patricia McGinnis | June 30, 2009; 3:14 PM ET | Comments (2)

Transgressions vs. Contributions

An examination of our most respected historical leaders reveals some extraordinary flaws, especially when it comes to marital fidelity. Regrettable as they were, such infidelities did not erase their contributions.

By George Reed | June 30, 2009; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

Forgiveness Is Beside the Point

Forgiveness is beside the point here. Once a leader has done something to shatter the trust of the people he leads, he can't get it back.

By Yash Gupta | June 30, 2009; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (9)

Dereliction of Duty

With his dalliance in Argentina, Gov. Mark Sanford abandoned his office and the executive responsibilities inherent in it. Similar dereliction of duty by a military officer would constitute grounds for immediate "relief" of command.

By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | June 30, 2009; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (48)

Marital Vows, Constitutional Vows

We need more people who lead by example and practice what they preach, including in connection with their moral and ethical behavior.

By David Walker | June 30, 2009; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (3)

Even Americans Are Forgiving

The idea that sexual indiscretions invariably cause the downfall of leaders is empirically incorrect. What Americans punish more than infidelity is being lied to.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | June 30, 2009; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Puzzle of Trust

Marital fidelity is a good predictor of overall character, albeit not the only predictor.

By Gail S. Williams | June 30, 2009; 10:54 AM ET | Comments (5)

The Adulation of Thousands

Why do so many of those who fall seem to be the ones who put themselves, with our collusion, on such an unrealistic moralistic pedestal in the first place?

By Marty Linsky | June 30, 2009; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Not a Predictor of Leadership Skill

Marital fidelity, in and of itself, is not a predictor of how well one will exercise leadership.

By Kathy Kretman | June 30, 2009; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (4)

Sanford's Character Flaws

Sanford's "acting out" and the complicated steps he went through to conduct the affair suggest a major character flaw that imperils his ability to lead.

By Abraham Zaleznik | June 30, 2009; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (1)

Getting Away With It

If your wandering eye is well known, and you don't make a big deal about family values, then you can get away with escapades.

By Howard Gardner | June 29, 2009; 4:34 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Clinton Exception?

It's difficult, in the light of the Clinton presidency, to assert the proposition that Americans "disqualify from top leadership positions people who haven't lived by the highest moral standards."

By Slade Gorton | June 29, 2009; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (5)

Leaders We Can Live Without

Circumstances matter, and if a leader has an affair with a subordinate or shows other lapses of judgment, then we're better off without them.

By Deborah Kolb | June 29, 2009; 1:53 PM ET | Comments (1)

Adultery Is Private, Politics Are Not

The public dislikes infidelity in its leaders but is willing to ignore it if the leader is seen as truly working for the common good.

By Michael Maccoby | June 29, 2009; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (1)

Mostly About Sex

We know of lots of great leaders from earlier periods who were tireless philanderers, not just in politics but in all walks of life. Would we have been better off if these leaders had been driven from their leadership positions? I don't think so.

By Steven Pearlstein | June 29, 2009; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (7)

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