Say what you will about the demonstration of leadership during the president’s State of the Union address last night (and the response of the House members and Senators seated before him), President Obama’s speech reinforces for me some earlier reflections and new perspectives on leadership.
The president talked about the current trust deficit; something no leader welcomes nor treats lightly, regardless of the sector. He clearly addressed how tough it is in the current environment to make decisions and to reach consensus. My memory sufficiently jogged, I reached for my little copy of Ten Things to Do in A Conceptual Emergency1, and seized upon an embedded phrase that applies so well: “simply accept the complexity and participate in it.” Regardless of sector-government, business, social (nonprofit)-we are nothing if not in community. Our participation is required to advance the common good. The bridges we build (literally and/or metaphorically) are necessary to transcend barriers of all kinds. Leadership-solid, selfless, intentional leadership-revolves around building trust equity and pursuing bold objectives.