Category Barack Obama

Malala Yousafzai Holds Space for a new kind of American leadership at the White House

Yesterday, Malala Yousafzai met with President Obama, sharing both her vision for education for women and girls and a challenge for US policy. She reported: “I thanked [him for] supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drove attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in […]

March on Washington: 50th Anniversary, Obama Steps Up

Today on the National Mall, thousands celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Rousing speeches and song commemorated the event that set great change in motion, and called Americans to continue marching, continue fighting for the rights each of us deserve: equality, good education, good work, and healthy communities. President Obama’s speech was […]

The Interrupters: Inspiring Leadership in the Streets

The spirit of leadership shows best when individuals put themselves on the line for the good of community. I write about this heartfelt, courageous form of leadership as aloha leadership, a committed, holistic practice of leadership that works with core values of integrity, self-knowledge, and respect for relationships. Certainly, the Interrupters are a living example […]

The Myth of Presidential Leadership: Obama’s challenge revisited

Norm Ornstein writes, in his National Review Column, The Myth of Presidential Leadership, “Many Washington pundits are critical of the president’s ability to wrangle concessions out of Congress, but they forget that his power has limits.” Here’s the meat of his argument: I have been struck by this phenomenon a lot recently, because at nearly […]

Leadership as Cooking, but Gourmet? Not!

It’s official: the mess is not getting any cleaner. If leadership is like cooking, Obama is overwhelmed by the number of pots in the kitchen. I suppose it’s inevitable. At least according to cartoonist Adam Zygus, he’s got three big problems: 1. No one’s helping. OK, maybe too many cooks spoil the broth, but one […]

Sequester Cartoon: Is there such a thing as tragic childish leadership?

There are certain fundamentals we need to find common ground — and being FLEXIBLE (read MOBILE) is the most important one. When future generations look back at this crisis, they’ll say, “What the heck happened? Didn’t they even know how to tie their shoes so SOMETHING could happen? Why were they so stuck?” They’ll also […]

Metaphors and Leadership: How Do We Make Sense of This Crisis?

We live through story; so it’s important to pay attention to the metaphors we use about our leaders. In the Washington Post yesterday, David Ignatius used a powerful metaphor to describe the sequestration crisis. It tells a difficult about leadership, about the crisis, and about what we need to do. Co-dependent Leadership and the House […]

Leadership and the Sequester: Who is to Blame?

We can’t help but measure leadership by results. The sequester cuts are a sign of poor leadership — but whose? (By the way, if you need a primer on the sequester, here’s a great FAQ guide from the Washington Post.) It’s not a pretty picture. The USA is in crisis — we can’t seem to […]

Greenwashing: the Eco-bandwagon and discerning followership

A few days ago I wrote about eco-leadership; now I want to talk about eco-followership. With green products becoming a trend in marketing, the line seems thinner and thinner between earth-friendly consumerism and consumer green-washing (that slimy brand brainwashing that makes money by pretending to be green). (Whether consumers are followers or leaders or both […]

Learning from the Land: Integrative Leadership

Great leadership is about relationships — not just with people, but with the land itself. I’ve just returned from a visit to Hawaii, one of the few places I’ve visited where the land itself is a strong leader.  Even most non-native Hawaiians recognize the power of the land, and talk about “malama aina” — respecting […]