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Ken Adelman
Political advisor

Ken Adelman

A Reagan-era Ambassador and Arms Control Director, Ken Adelman is co-founder and vice-president of Movers and Shakespeares, which offers executive training and leadership development.

Nominee: Fred Adams of Utah

The criteria for a Nobel Prize in Leadership should be someone who built something important and lasting which no-one else could have done.

Ronald Reagan -- the best leader I ever worked for -- built an approach at home to inject optimism into conservatism (a rather crotchety movement before him) and an approach overseas to destroy communism. Neither had been done before. Neither could have been done by anyone else. And both were palpably important.

Likewise, my Nobel nominee for leader today would be Fred Adams.

Fred who has the great advantage of being relatively unknown (the best prize awards go to those not already known; they not only get the prize and money, but the esteem that goes with it).

Some 45+ years ago, Fred began the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Who else could have proposed a Shakespearean Festival in the middle of nowhere (Cedar City, Utah)?

The quality has remained top-notch (Broadway quality). Family members see fabulous Shakespearean productions in their shorts and t-shirts. Many, if not most, have never before seen live theater, let alone that of the Bard. Now some 150,000 tickets are sold each season.

Only Fred could have proposed such an improbable thing. Only he could have maintained the quality, while expanding the institution so broadly.

And, to me at least, it's clearly important that Americans in rural areas, far from Broadway and Hollywood, see the best culture in the English-speaking world with their families in a friendly, comfortable and, yes, affordable environment.

By Ken Adelman

 |  October 15, 2009; 4:34 PM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Everyday Servant Leaders | Next: Nominee: Gates, Kopp and Mayor Greg Nickels

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