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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.


Question: From a leadership perspective--moving the country and the political process away from division and gridlock and toward consensus, confidence and action--how would you grade President Obama's State of the Union speech?

The president is an amazing speaker and, I believe, saw the need to motivate the American people. I too believe our country can do "big things" and overcome obstacles, and from time to time it is good to remind ourselves of that fact. At the same time, the American people sent a very clear message this last election that they were tired of the expansion of government and it excesses. And President Obama did little to communicate that he truly understands the concerns of citizens.

When two people are in conflict, a key step to ending it is listening to the other person and fully understanding their concerns and feelings. Only from that point can a resolution come. Or, much like the coach whose football team got slaughtered in the first half, pep talk will raise spirits but only a change in strategy will have a chance at changing the outcome of the game. And in this regard President Obama has an opportunity to bring up his grade.

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By Robert Goodwin

 |  January 25, 2011; 11:27 PM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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How can you say Obama failed to address spending concerns when he announced an extension of his spending freeze to five years? It seems to me that the economy in general, and jobs in particular, are much more significant concerns of the American people than government spending in itself.

Posted by: Lamentations | January 27, 2011 12:13 PM
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To Skeptik3. Good point. I should have said voters or many voters instead of the American People. My point was that there is tremendous concern out there about the spending which I felt President Obama failed to address. Thank you for your comment.

Posted by: RJGoodwin | January 26, 2011 9:59 PM
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"When two people are in conflict, a key step to ending it is listening to the other person and fully understanding their concerns and feelings."

Seems Goodwin doesn't know how to take his own advice.

Posted by: chaos1 | January 26, 2011 3:00 PM
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I thought Obama was impressively concilliatory to Republicans during his speech. He has showed much more of a willingness to listen to Republicans than vice-versa.

You say "the American people sent a very clear message this last election", but I only heard tea-partiers say this. We don't really know why the other 80% of the voting electorate chose their candidates. I for one am an American Obama supporter, and I'd appreciate it if you would stop excluding me from the "American People".

Posted by: skeptik3 | January 26, 2011 2:06 PM
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