What Makes a Great President?

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Compassion, Contemplation, Cheerfulness


Great leaders genuinely care for and love the people they lead more than they love leading itself. Leadership without love degenerates into self-serving manipulation.

A great example of someone who led with compassion is a little-known Jewish leader named Nehemiah. In 445 B.C. he assumed the dangerous task of rebuilding Jerusalem after a devastating war. When he heard about the living conditions in the city, he mourned, prayed, and fasted for several days in order to identify with his people, who were facing food shortages, high taxes, and threats of violence. Sound familiar?

Nehemiah's compassion propelled him to action. Love acts. Apathy ignores. Leadership begins the moment someone assumes responsibility for the pain of others.


True leaders don't just act, they think. Many leaders today are like poor photographs: overexposed and underdeveloped. Always being in the spotlight blinds you. It can be addictive and corrosive to one's character.

Great leaders build deep spiritual, emotional, and intellectual reserves through prayer, quiet, reading, and thinking about their responsibilities. They balance time spent in the public eye with time alone.

Nehemiah understood this. He thought through decisions, crises, and criticisms, seeking a wider perspective. He didn't rush to a conclusion, knowing that making the right choice was far more important than making a fast one.


Great leaders inspire. They maintain a hopeful attitude, even in the face of discouraging setbacks, constant criticism, and abundant opposition. People don't follow discouraged leaders. They follow those who persist with hope.

The basis of leading with cheerfulness is not found in denying reality, faking optimism, or creating political spin. It's rooted in faith. Notable leaders keep on believing in what's right when everyone else wants to give in or give up. They believe in overcoming evil with good.

Continued on page 3:  Concentration, Courage, Clear Conscience


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