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Archive: May 9, 2010 - May 15, 2010

Inventing themselves on the job

Ambiguity creates opportunity. Things are always more challenging when there's no roadmap, but some of the best, most inspired thinking is likely to emerge from those situations.

By Lisa Caputo | May 14, 2010; 3:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Baron von Steuben's example

At Valley Forge, Baron Von Steuben quickly adjusted the Prussian training methods to meet the realities of non-professional force of colonial troops

By Col. Charles D. Allen | May 14, 2010; 5:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

She leads, we follow

Real change is never a one-person show. Real change happens when the work of formal leaders--leaders in the center--is complemented by the work of leaders on the margin.

By Martin Davidson | May 14, 2010; 5:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

What Michelle and Laura share

There is something about the first ladies that draws others in and inspires them to follow and find their own purpose. Perhaps it's their authenticity or their ability to be fully present in the moment.

By Katherine Tyler Scott | May 13, 2010; 3:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Not a right but a choice

The first lady can and should be a leader. It is her privilege and responsibility of public service. But ultimately it is hers to choose.

By Scott DeRue | May 13, 2010; 3:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Unprecedented potential

It does not matter whether you are a man or woman, president or first lady. What matters is the role you choose to play.

By West Point Cadets | May 13, 2010; 3:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

The power of indirect leaders

Whether first ladies are leaders or simply the pale distaff of their husband -- think Mrs. Eisenhower -- depends on the degree to which they use their voice and how much they want to amplify it.

By Warren Bennis | May 13, 2010; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Not waiting for advice

Michelle Obama should continue to use her body language to express her passion for the cause of childhood obesity.

By Carol Kinsey Goman | May 13, 2010; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

'The beauty of your dreams'

The power of the first lady lies not in the title, but in the spirit, conviction, and leadership of the individual.

By Coro Fellows | May 13, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Not one of the 'old boys'

In 1960 when Elena Kagan was born, five of nine Supreme Court justices had no previous experience on the bench.

By Amy M. Wilkinson | May 12, 2010; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (9)

No time for a safe bet

Coming up the ranks traditionally may be safe. But we are not living in a safe world where safe still works.

By Columbia University students | May 12, 2010; 11:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Infusing new blood

In nominating appellate court-outsider Elena Kagan, President Obama is sending the message that having good judgment -- rather than having actually served as a judge -- is the key quality for a justice.

By Robert Goodwin | May 11, 2010; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (1)

Entrepreneurship and sweat

There is no longer a set résumé for the modern military officer. The proper tonic simply seems to be a mixture of entrepreneurship and sweat. Same goes for our Supreme Court justices.

By West Point Cadets | May 11, 2010; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Caring for society

A justice has to care about the law, but I think a justice also must care about society. Ms. Kagan's background in academia speaks to this requirement.

By Yash Gupta | May 11, 2010; 2:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

In praise of legal diversity

The idea that Justices "follow the law" and "don't make law" is silly. Yet this is the catechism that recent nominees have been forced to recite before the judiciary committee.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | May 11, 2010; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Two antitodes to cynicism

When followers become cynical, they are responding to two key attributes -- or the lack of them -- in their leaders: The presence or lack of perceived trustworthiness and competence.

By Thomas S. Bateman | May 11, 2010; 6:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

Stanley Cup: Post-season leadership

Winning when the pressure is turned up requires developing a very strong identity during the regular season and staying true to those values and instincts during post-season play.

By Lisa Larson | May 11, 2010; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

She can fill O'Connor's shoes

Being a Supreme Court Justice is a life-long calling. Elena Kagan has the experience, the "moxie," the devotion to pubic service, and intellectual fire power to follow in Sandra Day O'Connor's footsteps.

By Juana Bordas | May 11, 2010; 5:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

Want change? A woman can bring it

We go to outsiders when we want change, and when the change we want is for more of us to be insiders, we go to women.

By Marie Wilson | May 11, 2010; 5:44 AM ET | Comments (9)

'To unmask falsehood'

The clearer a nominee's views, the more controversial that nominee could become. See 'Bork, Robert' for elaboration.

By Ken Adelman | May 11, 2010; 5:31 AM ET | Comments (0)

Sufficient intellectual gifts

Every Justice does not have to have the same background.

By Marshall Goldsmith | May 11, 2010; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The qualification of integrity

Numerous leaders have brought in new ideas, but failed in their inability to stay true to a core set of values or principles.

By Coro Fellows | May 11, 2010; 2:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

One freezing dove, four precious freedoms

A morning spent caring for a frozen dove with a foreign military officer reminds me that we do have something special in America--probably more than we deserve and something that we should hope for others to experience.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | May 10, 2010; 4:24 PM ET | Comments (4)

The diversity we need

The advantages of selecting a leader with non-traditional qualifications are the fresh perspectives they bring to familiar problems.

By Beth A. Brooke | May 10, 2010; 3:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Alan Mulally's example

Alan Mulally, who became CEO of Ford Motor Company after a career at Boeing, has engineered the company's turnaround. A savvy leader will be a quick study.

By John Baldoni | May 10, 2010; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

A poor choice

Kagan's nomination reinforces a group already overwhelmingly composed of those from a single academic background that has given them not the slightest inkling of how the vast majority of Americans think and live.

By Slade Gorton | May 10, 2010; 2:56 PM ET | Comments (3)

Power of the outsider

Today, what truly qualifies a leader is the capacity to bring fresh eyes, a fresh voice, and a fresh point of view to his or her "organization" along with the smarts and expertise to be an unquestioned master of the organization's work.

By William C. Taylor | May 10, 2010; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

A breath of fresh air

Given the obvious frustration that most Americans have with politics-as-usual, any breath of fresh air, especially one as intellectually qualified as Elena Kagan, is a welcome change.

By Bill Shore | May 10, 2010; 1:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

More than just a liberal

I doubt that President Obama nominated her because she is a liberal; there are many judges far more liberal than Kagan.

By Bill George | May 10, 2010; 1:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where does she stand?

There is however a substantial downside to having a nominee who has been neither a judge nor an elected official: a lack of familiarity with the nominee's views on some very important matters, including the limits of presidential power.

By Mickey Edwards | May 10, 2010; 1:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

She's got the skills

The fact that she was nominated to be a judge a decade ago indicates that even at that time, before she had been a successful law school dean, she was already considered to have the requisite skills.

By Howard Gardner | May 10, 2010; 1:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Kagan's symbolic choice

That act demonstrated her commitment to the highest standards of professional achievement, and it also signaled her commitment to the ongoing quest to achieve equal justice under law for all citizens regardless of race or gender.

By Kurt Schmoke | May 10, 2010; 12:49 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bono at 50: The leader we need

Bono seems to understand our most pressing issues today demand a new kind of leadership, one based not in status systems but in humility, an ardent desire to learn and a respect for the individuals that organizations serve.

By Nancy Koehn | May 10, 2010; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (18)

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