'Rahm-ing' It Through
It all depends on the "mental models" held by the leader and those who are in the position to cooperate or follow, or not (hereafter, for short, called "followers.") Since the time of Machiavelli, we have had a detailed argument about why leaders should be feared, and indeed, when both leader and followers share that mental model, that is how to get things done. But there are other models of leadership as well, and when more consensual (in your terms), more-"carrot" approaches constitute the mental models, those can work well. Newt Gingrich and Tip O'Neill were effective in different ways; so were Lyndon Johnson and Mike Mansfield.
I think that President Obama has inherited a situation in which his gentler approach is interpreted by some as weakness. With respect to those individuals, he has a choice: He can resort to more of a Machiavelli '"stick" approach (and "rahm" things down the throat), or he can attempt to educate or inspire followers (associates, Congress members, and the general public) to a different model of how to do business. I hope that he chooses the latter course.
Posted by: corbinbrooks | August 18, 2009 3:39 PM
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