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imagesAs we all prepare to select a new President next year (unless you maybe want to do it sooner!), I started thinking about what it is that make for a good leader, if not a great one.

Here are five traits or qualities that occur to me:

1. Knowledge and intelligence

Certainly this helps, but is it really that important? I’ve never heard anyone say Ronald Reagan was the sharpest tool in the shed, but he seemed to recognize his limits, surround himself with the right people, and then delegate to and rely on them.

2.  Work Ethic

Like an absentee owner, an absentee leader won’t do. The owner has to watch the cash register. So does the leader. See Criteria 1 above. Again, isn’t the key the work ethic of the leader’s team? Most of our Presidents seem to find time to get their golf in. I sure could use some help with that!

3.  Charisma

I have always felt this and the next one are far more important than the first two. Think FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan, and Winston Churchill. I hate to even think it, let alone say it (so pretend I didn’t), but even if politically incorrect didn’t Hitler have a ton of charisma? Before he was at the top of his game, ask yourself how he managed to get there. For example, how do you think President Obama is doing in the wake of Paris? Is he a stabilizing, calming influence when we could use one? Does he make you feel we have it under control? How would you compare him to Reagan, JFK, FDR, or Churchill? Or perhaps to Tim Conway?

4.  Trust

To me, charisma and trust are neck and neck for the number one leader criteria. Unfortunately, trust does not seem in abundance among our political leaders. We probably all can name more we don’t trust than those we do.

5.  Other

Actually, I ran out at four. Any occur to you that I missed?  What about crafty, shrewd, creative, relentless, single-minded, tough, flexible, confident, careful, soulful, in no particular order.

So, considering our last couple of Presidents, our current President, and our 2016 candidates, how would you rank them, especially the candidates who aspire to be our next leader?


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  • Jane S Taber

    What about integrity . . . character . . . belief in our constitution and rule of law?

    • Well, I could behave like a lawyer and argue and demonstrate how your three additions are subsumed in several of the traits I listed, but I think the more honorable (and correct) thing for me to do is to yield to you on the three commendable additional traits you identify. When you’re right, you’re right. Besides, I really want to shut down for the day and go watch the debate and see who wins The Voice. (No one is likely to win the debate, but it might be fun to have a straw vote on Twitter and forget about all the primaries and caucuses.) We won’t get into which show I think will be the more suspenseful and interesting. Let’s just say it would be entertaining to see the contestants on The Voice debating, and to see the contestants in the debate having to sing, which we know they already do all the time, just not very well. 🙂

  • Jose Sigal

    Where do we find one?

    • Pepe, to get the answer to a tough question like that one, I think you have to sign up for my premier account. Of course, you can’t do that until I first create one. 🙂 By the way, after the debate last night I polled all nine GOP candidates on that very question. I got nine different answers. Not one candidate managed to get two votes.