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Archive: August 22, 2010 - August 28, 2010

Obama tried to show leadership, heightened tensions

It's clear that the President felt the debate surround the Ground Zero mosque had risen to the level where his lack of a position would have communicated indifference on an issue of increasing importance to the American people. It's also clear that he felt that...

By Robert Goodwin | August 27, 2010; 8:55 AM ET | Comments (2)

Leadership's next frontier: Changing how we use our words and bodies

As we try to find a lingua franca both genders can use, new research offers some norm-shifting ideas. Whether you're a man or woman, putting your body in positions that speak power makes you feel good. See yourself as...

By Sharon Meers | August 27, 2010; 8:39 AM ET | Comments (21)

Ostrich leadership at the World Trade Center

As human beings, crisis and danger can lead to fight or flight responses. Freezing up and not knowing what to do is a manifestation of flight. But part of a skilled leader's toolkit is the ability to override that response because their constituents, their organizations, and their societies need them to. People need...

By Martin Davidson | August 26, 2010; 8:51 AM ET | Comments (2)

Time is now for imam to speak on mosque

The motivation for leaders to speak varies. It might be a matter of conscience, the heat of political pressure, affiliation and loyalty to a group, an opportunity to influence, a chance to exploit the situation for personal gain, or just flagrant egotism. We have observed behavioral manifestations of all of these in the past year. The controversy over the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque ...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | August 24, 2010; 2:54 PM ET | Comments (14)

Rejecting the politics of fear

The crisis that cries out for leadership is not about the mosque in Manhattan. It is about confronting the fear that can paralyze this country or turn fear of the future into impotent anger. We need leaders who ...

By Michael Maccoby | August 24, 2010; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (9)

Imam and Obama should defend the mosque

President Obama was right that, in America, Muslims have just as much right to a downtown place of worship as any religious group does. However, Imam Rauf's responsibility as leader requires that he be present and engaging with the same sort of calming assurance that he offered in the Fall of 2001. By remaining silent, Imam Rauf failed to take up that responsibility, and this...

By Doug Guthrie | August 24, 2010; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (11)

Gettysburg lessons reverberate in a modern world

To paraphrase, "a day on the Gettysburg battlefield beats any day in the seminar room." Of course for our U.S. Army War College trip, the seminar room was the battlefield. Over the years, I have been privileged to observe several student groups of senior military officers vicariously experience the great national contest of wills that was our American Civil War. It is advantageous for our students that contest came to be realized in central Pennsylvania.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | August 24, 2010; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (14)

Defending the diversity we cherish

President Obama did the right thing in his initial comments by providing a broad overview of the issue. He essentially said: This is America, where we respect the rights of individuals, we honor the freedom to worship and the freedom to express one's views, and we revel in the diversity that has made ours a society envied the world over. The president was being fairly clear as to where he stood on the matter of the Cordoba House community center.

By Yash Gupta | August 24, 2010; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (8)

Obama did the right thing stepping in

Leadership demands that you stay true to your principles whether or not they are politically expedient. Three cheers for the President who has used the controversy to remind Americans that this country was founded on (and Constitutionally enshrined) the notion that all people have the right to practice their faith, free of government interference.

By Kathryn Kolbert | August 24, 2010; 9:42 AM ET | Comments (4)

Leaders need to involve themselves in crises

The cold hard reality of crisis management is that crises are unpredictable. Seldom do they follow a script, this means that leaders need to be active and engaged whenever called upon to do so. And they must do so with a sense of calmness and control. A leader who withdraws from the fray or seems hopelessly lost sends the worst kind of signals. This breeds fear from which no good can come.

By John Baldoni | August 24, 2010; 8:57 AM ET | Comments (2)

It's not when, but what Obama said

A leader should speak up when the matter calls for his attention, when he has a well thought out and articulated position with respect to the relevant issues, and when he has thought through the various possible reactions to his remarks and anticipated those reactions as much as possible. With respect to his remarks about the mosque, and also about the arrest of Prof. Henry Louis Gates, the problem for Pres. Obama was not a matter of timing.

By Howard Gardner | August 23, 2010; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (1)

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