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Katherine Tyler Scott
Business leader

Katherine Tyler Scott

Katherine Tyler Scott is Managing Partner of Ki ThoughtBridge, a leadership consultancy, and is author, most recently, of Transforming Leadership: The Episcopal Church of the 21st Century. She is a board member of the International Leadership Association.

'You still believe'

In response to the On Leadership question: Write a memorable passage of President Obama's State of the Union that would allow the president to get his leadership mojo back.

"Whenever this country has faced great adversity in the past, we've come through it even more determined to succeed and we will do this once again. Whenever we've faced hardships like these we've felt the anxiety, the fear, the anger, the loss, and the feeling of being out of control.

What has helped us get through such times is an enduring belief in the ideals and principles of a democratic form of government, a government that is responsive to the needs, interests, and concerns of its people, a government whose branches understand they are connected, and are morally obligated to work together for the common good.

When you elected me to this job, it was with great hope for change. The change I promised was not minor--it was transformational. The promise I made was one I believed in--one I still believe in. The avalanche of significant problems facing us has not buried my belief in, nor my commitment to, change. Deep down, you still believe in change too. You know we cannot continue doing things the same way.

We have seen the worst economic recession in over 60 years. The banking industry and Wall Street were a day away from disaster. Our economy was tanking; businesses reduced their workforces; unemployment rose; and we were (and are) at war with fierce enemies who are intent on our demise. There are few times in the history of this Country, or the world for that matter, in which we have seen such a convergence of seemingly intractable, complex problems.

The difficulties we face, while far from simple, are not insurmountable. Our greatness and recovery rests with an inner strength and wisdom that comes from surviving adversity, from remembering the core beliefs of justice, freedom, and opportunity that are the foundation of who we are as a people and how we must govern as a nation.

We share the promise of an America in which all citizens can receive a decent education, have adequate and affordable health care, are employed and able to contribute to their families and their community's well being, are safe, and can trust in a peaceful existence. What makes America distinctly different from other countries is we don't believe in this promise for a few--we believe it exists for everyone.

We have wanted this promise to be kept from the beginning and I am committed to keeping it. It is hard, never-ending work, essential work that cannot be accomplished for immediate political advantage or gain. It is our work together for the sake of our country's long-term health

Together we must persevere, be disciplined, and be able to sacrifice immediate gratification and false results for long-term positive and sustainable change.

I promise you:

• I will continue to work for a stable economy, one devoid of institutions on which security rests that we are willing to exploit American citizens for their own profit.
• I will continue to work hard to ensure the safety and security of our people.
• I will put every effort into returning this Country to a position of strength, with high employment, increased jobs, and educational opportunities for all.
• I will continue to work for fiscal accountability and fiscal solvency in our government through a balanced budget and a sound plan to reduce the deficit in the long term.

Change is a process, not an event. The indicators of change you can look for are:

• Reductions in job loss.
• Robust job creation.
• Increased loans to small businesses.
• Increases in jobs and employment.
• Health coverage at reasonable costs and security of coverage regardless of previous condition or change in employer or employment.
• A plan to reduce the deficit.

Our greatness as a nation rests with our working together. Together we can and will keep its promise, not just for a day or a year, not just for a term, but 'for generations we may never know and a time we may never see.' This is our inheritance and this will be our legacy.

By Katherine Tyler Scott

 |  January 26, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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