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Warren Bennis
Scholar

Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business at the University of Southern California. His newest book is 'Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.'

The Distorted Loudspeaker

Three big lessons from this episode:

1. Our usually composed president was distracted from his main message -- health care -- in the last three of his press conference by a question which should have been ignored and which totally muted his message.

2. Our president may have learned that his voice becomes a global and distorted loudspeaker and that he has to weigh his words carefully, especially, most especially, when uninformed or not carefully briefed on all the facts.

3. Admitting and then rectifying mistakes, under most conditions, is better than stonewalling. It wasn't exactly a "Mutual Redemption at the Rose Garden" moment, but it was an honest look at post-racial America and how far we have to go. It's hard to imagine any previous U.S. president pulling this off and maybe it will prove to be instructional at the micro-level at the organizations we live and work in.

By Warren Bennis

 |  August 4, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The incident reinforces a lesson that the current administration is putting to work in addressing the unrest in Iran. And that is, if you can't be sure your intervention will help, then stay the heck out altogether.

Colin Powell reiterated it on Larry King the other day. The Iranian regime is expert at taking anything the West says about Iran and turning it to their own advantage in the media. Why give them the opportunity? Of course during the demonstrations you heard ceaseless calls from the GOP for strong, ultimately meaningless condemnations. But that's been the Republican approach for a decade now. And it never fails to help Al Qaeda recruit.

Obama should have stayed out of this altogether. And believe me, next time, he will.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 4, 2009 11:02 AM
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