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LEADERSHIP: 13 Leadership Skills the Next U.S. President Has To Have

Today is Election Day in the U.S. and we thought it would be timely to address some of the leadership requirements of any Chief in any office.  As we go to the polls and elect our next president, we want him to know that there are key leadership skills he needs to have and/or build within those close to him in order to succeed.  These leadership skills are not exclusive to the sitting president, but can be applied to any leader:

1) Consensus building that involves multiple perspectives and opinions.  

Consensus building recognizes that it’s not enough to simply have agreement, but that support of the decision throughout its implementation is critical to success.  To demonstrate a consensus-building mentality, the new President will automatically have to cross the isle and find common ground from which to build the future of our nation. (Every Leader Should Read: Taking The Mystery Out of Consensus)


2) Effective and resolute decision making from all levels of his administration.  

Decision making involves a three-phase process:  a time of divergent thinking when a wide variety of perspectives are heard, the groan zone when we struggle with the depth and breadth of the diversity of thought and a time of convergent thinking when we actively seek to look for areas of agreement.  A wise President will guide and encourage convergent thinking. (Every Leader Should Read: Key Decision Making Tragedies and What We Can Learn From Them)


3) The ability to create collaborative tiger teams.  

A tiger team starts from a place of high performance because of the teaming skills that each person brings to the table from the get-go.  Our new President will need to find the best and brightest in our nation – crossing over party lines –  to lead some dramatic tiger teams to solve the huge problems we are facing with jobs, energy, and social issues. (Every Leader Should Read: Tiger Teams – The New Frontier of Teaming)


4) Encourage dynamic conflict resolution.  

This election has been so divisive and the ideological conflicts are so deep that our new President must deliberately spend time focused on conflict mediation between the various perspectives.  A body that attacks itself will implode.  He will need to be a peace maker and a unity-builder similar to Nelson Mandela and his Ubuntu philosophy. (Every Leader Should Read: How To Get Along With Others – A New Spin On Conflict)


5) The ability to facilitate high stakes, open meetings where the best information is shared, political groupthink is stopped in its tracks and moving forward means making a difference in actions and deeds.   

The word to facilitate means “to make easy.”  Our new President should make it easy for us to see what really goes on in government.  If coalitions block or resist change, then he should hold meetings in front of the American people so we can see what is causing the problem.  (Every Leader Should Read: Facilitating the High Heat Meeting)


6) Be able to communicate a clear and inspiring vision to his administration and the country.  

We are currently a divided nation when it comes to vision – half want more government; half want less.  No leader will succeed if he just stands and tries to pull others to his side.   America is a great nation capable of amazing accomplishments (look at how 13.5 million dollars was raised in one day to benefit the Red Cross Super Storm Sandy relief).  Our President will need to rise above politics and inspire a vision we can all support. (Every Leader Should Read: Presenting Your Ideas the Kennedy Way)


7) The aptitude to handle and manage the affects of constant, complex change and innovation.  

By 2020 our collective knowledge is expected to double every 72 days.  We are in massive change and don’t have a clue how to manage it successfully (consequently 75% of change initiatives fail or are cancelled).  Our new President must be a change champion capable of building coalitions of change, the case for change, and a vision for how America must change.  He must personify all that is good and right about change.  As Winston Churchill said, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”  We need a President who demonstrates enormous courage in the face of all that we need to change. (Every Leader Should Read: Understanding the Root of Change and How The Change Formula Can Drive Success)


8) Communicate the message of motivation that gives confidence to a fatigued nation.  

Motivation is an emotional – not logical – force based on competency, autonomy, meaningfulness and progress.  We need motivation as a nation.  Here at New Directions, we feel like the nation has been lacking motivation for nearly twelve years, perhaps as a direct result of 9/11, the loss of moral fiber in banking and business, and the economic downturn that goes on and on.  We need a new President that can motivate! (Every Leader Should Read: The Language of Motivation in the Workplace)


9) Trust between the government and the people.  

Oh, this one is huge isn’t it?  Trust, according to Stephen Covey, Jr. is based on credibility which comes from competency and character.  Our new President must work every day to restore the trust of the American people in our government.  He must ask constantly:  are we credible in what we’re doing?  Are we competent with demonstrated excellence?  Is our character above reproach?  (Every Leader Should Read: 7 Principles for Raising Organizational Trust Levels)


10) Cross party lines and negotiate the terms of his presidency and the direction of the country.  

Our new President must be a master negotiator who works deliberately on both the substantive issues as well as the relationship ones.  Fisher and Ury in Getting to Yes, suggest “in fact, the ongoing relationship is far more important than the outcome of any particular negotiation.”  Imagine a new President who builds from a Zone of Acceptance, rather than accentuating the Zone of Rejection, who acts outside others’ expectations so that they will be more open to hearing what he has to say. (Every Leader Should Read: A Few Tried-And-True Tips for Negotiating)


11) Implement smart, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-bound goals that the country can support.  

John Kennedy moved us out of complacency with his “man on the moon” goal; Lyndon Johnson did the same with his “war on poverty.”  How about a goal of “restoration of America to great-nation status?” (Every Leader Should Read: The SMART Goal Setting eBook)


12) Manage a multitude of diverse, eccentric, complex personalities both within his party and across the aisle.  

The best leaders know how to manage boundaries, including difficulty personalities.  They refuse to let the “toxic” minority cripple the majority.  They understand their own personality blind spots and build leadership teams that bring diversity of thought to compensate for those shortcomings.  (Every Leader Should Read: Your Personality At Work Guidebook)


13)  Be a one-of-kind, amazing level 5 leader.  

We need a Mr. Everything, a man who brings us together with a clear and commanding picture of all that is good within our nation.  We need a leader with amazing courage to do what is unlikely; who surprises us with his compassion, intellect, humility, unwavering faith and overwhelming commitment to the good of nation above all else.  (Every Leader Should Read: It’s Time To Revisit Good To Great)


We’re sure you may have other qualities you would like to see in our new President.  Please share them with us.  We’ll do our best to ensure that our list makes it to the White House.

While you’re thinking, download our FREE Innovative Leadership guide to help support and sustain your leadership talent:

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