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Weekend Reads: The gurus grade Obama


(cartoon hat tip to The Telegraph)

Would President Barack Obama pass a leadership class at a top business school? Yes, but he wouldn't get an A. MBA site Poets and Quants got 10 top leadership professors to grade the president's vision, execution and results using letter grades. The result? A B average. University of Southern California leadership sage Warren Bennis was the kindest, giving the president straight As, and he's "amazed at what he's accomplished;" former Medtronic CEO and Harvard Business School professor Bill George was the toughest, giving Obama two Cs. "I assumed, perhaps naively, that he'd give us a vision of where the country was going to go, and would set that out as a long-term plan," George told the web site. "He chose not to do that, nor has he done so since." Check out his report card here.

Surprise, surprise: File this study under least surprising leadership headline of the week. The Harvard Kennedy School of Government found that Americans are still, well, disappointed in their leaders. Go figure. Four sectors--nonprofits & charities, the Supreme Court, medical, and the military--all got above-average levels of confidence. Leaders in the news media, Congress, and Wall Street were the lowest rated yet again.

Location, location, location: The first rule in real estate matters after all. Just when everyone thought the workplace would become geography-agnostic, with remote workers distributed all over the world, physical location started to be important again. A smart read from technology and innovation gurus John Hagel III and John Seely Brown.

Do leaders need enemies? Some people believe a win by Republicans in the midterm elections could actually help Obama, prompting the other party to have to execute on solutions and, potentially, force the president to become, well, the uniter not the divider. And others believe John Boehner is just the enemy Obama needs. Which raises an interesting question: Do leaders need foils to be successful?

By Jena McGregor

 |  October 29, 2010; 11:43 AM ET |  Category:  Government leadership , Leadership advice , Leadership development , Presidential leadership , Public leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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