Should a leader be the MC or Main Event?

In Sunday’s Washington Post, David Rothkopf wrote an opinion piece that struck my eye. He talked about how Obama has positioned himself on global affairs as a sort of master of ceremonies, bringing countries together and orchestrating a coordinated effort rather than leading the way. Rothkopf intimates that Obama may lose followership from such an approach even as he posits that this may be the new era of American presidencies with our diminishing role as undisputed superpower.  

 I read the article as a typical leadership conundrum playing out on a world stage — how much to collaborate and how much to exert power. What is the right touch? How do you gain insight to course correct?  Most managers spend their careers trying to figure it out.

In corporations, there’s been a significant shift away from heavy handedness and into consensus building. The millennial generation seems to be helping to influence management in this direction. I can’t help but wonder is what we’re seeing in the presidency emblematic of this shift or only a leadership style of our current commander in chief?

Time will tell. And with multiple crises facing the country, we’re sure to have ample opportunity to observe.


About kristihedges
Executive coach, leadership development consultant, blogger, contributor, author of Power of Presence (AMACOM).

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