What Makes a Great President?
Choosing a Leader
For more than a year America has been in the process of choosing its next president. The candidates have been endlessly inspected, dissected, analyzed, and debated.
Impossible expectations have been created because most people mistakenly think that the president's role is to manage the nation's problems. The reality is that a president's ability to manage is restricted by our Constitution, Congress, the courts, the states, and local communities. Still, the president's role is to lead. So what makes a great leader?
The foundation of leadership is not competence or charisma, but character. Charismatic people are often assumed to be the best leaders, but it's a trait that can be used for good or evil. Three of the most charismatic leaders of the 20th century -- Hitler, Mao, and Stalin -- were also its worst, destroying the lives of millions. Without character, charisma becomes a menace, used to manipulate situations for selfish reasons. Whether leading in business, education, politics, or family, character always trumps charisma.
What we desperately need in our leaders today is strong character. And while these six qualities aren't the only ones a president should possess, it's hard to be a great leader without them.