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Robert Goodwin

Robert Goodwin

Robert J. Goodwin is CEO and co-founder of Executives Without Borders; former deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force and appointee at USAID, the State Department and the White House.

Game-changing results

In response to the On Leadership question: As Sarah Palin goes about laying the foundation for a possible presidential candidacy, what could she do to burnish her leadership credentials beyond her conservative base?

The attacks are so virulent and the reaction to her candidacy so strong that it will be difficult for Sarah Palin to be a seen as the unifying voice this country needs in a presidential candidate.

With Palin there is little middle ground. People tend to either really like her or really dislike her. For as many of those who see her as the anti-Washington, anti-establishment candidate they have been waiting for, there are just as many who worry that she is the anti-Washington and anti-establishment candidate. "Rogues" don't necessary do well when they are actually running the organization.

Many Americans like Palin because she has an ability to speak to the everyman in a way they understand. Some people identify with her as a mom who has made sacrifices for her children, others as a working class American who is trying to make a difference. Once she has a clearer understanding of the issues of the day and their complexity, she can leverage her gift to be understood by a broad range of Americans─and help explain why she is the best person for the job in a way that people can understand.

In its purest form, politics is about bringing communities, businesses and government together for a more positive future. She has the opportunity to bring such groups together and actually to help President Obama deliver results that we all need.

What will change the game for Palin are results. Our country is in real trouble economically and the threats to our security are real. She will need to roll up her sleeves and get to work─and bring others along.

What could she do to show results? She could get engaged at a major think tank and help wrestle with tough policy issues. She could organize a group of concerned citizen leaders to see what can be done to spur job creation at a grassroots level. She could rally people around issues where there is broad bi-partisan agreement.

No one is ever fully prepared for the job of the presidency, but it is important to ensure the learning curve is not so steep that it hampers effective governing. With action (and subsequent results) at a national level, people might see Palin in a different way.

Keeping open the possibility of a run for the presidency in 2012 is a catalyst for more speaking engagements and successful fundraising. If she does ultimately run in 2012, it will be clear to me that much of her current activity is about her and not the country. If she forgoes a run and uses her influence to make a positive contribution to solving our national issues, I will consider her one step closer to presidential timber.

By Robert Goodwin

 |  February 10, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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You would think that a man with the the background of Mr.Goodwin, would know that Palin has no chance of "EVER" being a National figure. On the other hand Mr. Goodwin worked for the Bush Regime, that would explain his state of Delusion when it comes to a real Leader...

Posted by: austininc4 | February 10, 2010 10:19 PM
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She cannot do anything productive because she is an idiot of the first order. A complete and utter moron.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | February 10, 2010 7:28 PM
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i supervised a respiratory therapy department at age 25,it was multi-ethnic,i had friends who expected preferential treatment and did not get it,i had to deal with a mostly female or gay male and gay female nursing staff,most of whom were co-dependent and dysfunctional,i had to deal with whiny docs who flew into tizies when things didn't go their way.I had to deal with family members who thought their relative was more important than all others.I dids all this from an office with a phone and a beeper and i would have to respond to code blues(croakers) and other emergencies but would mostly delegate all work from that office.
can i run from something now that at age 51 i'm even wiser?

Posted by: kiler616 | February 10, 2010 4:48 PM
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