Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Demanding Answers

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Presidential race and the remaining front runners. Last year, Katie Couric asked if we’d come up with some questions, based on my latest book Where Have All The Leaders Gone?, to ask the candidates.

Take a look at the following questions. Do you know any of the candidates’ responses to them?

1. Leaders are not born; they’re made in times of crisis. Name a crisis that you have faced, and talk about how you demonstrated leadership.

2. Name your two primary models for leadership from the past 50 years. These are the individuals you call to mind when you’re faced with a tough decision.

3. The ability to collaborate with those who have different ideas and approaches is a key factor in leadership. Give an example of a time (professionally or politically) when you have successfully collaborated with people who have different views.

4. As a businessman I learned that the best way to fully understand what it means to be responsible is to meet a payroll every week. In your life, when have you had tangible responsibility for the livelihoods of others – and what did the experience teach you about leadership?

5. Being President is not a one person job. The team is just as important. Are you prepared to tell voters who will be on your team so they can make an educated choice? In particular, who are your candidates for Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Attorney General? (If you’re not prepared to name them, can you name individuals from recent history who have excelled in those positions?)

6. The United State has one of the lowest voter turnout rates among democratic nations – especially for young single adults. What will you do to encourage young people to vote and participate in government?

7. A leader inspires others to participate fully in the life of democracy. The words of JFK – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” – still resonate. Give a specific example of what you will ask citizens to do, and what sacrifices you will ask them to make.

Maybe if these questions are circulated to millions by email (just like the first chapter of my book), the tough questions will get asked and the candidates will feel obliged to give the American people an answer!

11 comments:

Torben - Miami said...

This is brilliant - I know that Lee doesn't need any flatter and it is not meant to be that.
But he demonstrates, anew, how to cutting to the bone, peeling away the fluff would get some "straight answers" - if the candidates even could answer. I think there would be a lot of "eh" and ""well . . . . . . . "

His voice will always be needed; it's what makes this country sane.

ecthompson said...

This is straight out of his book which I thought was brilliant.

I was wondering if Lee would ever start a blog roll? :-)

Nice post. I copied it and posted it here. I hope that you don't mind.

The Iconocaste said...

I love the 9 C's of leadership, revised or not! Unfortunately, I don't think we have anyone qualified to answer them (out of those who are running), let alone be an example of them.

Whoever it will be, I hope that they can put their own views aside, for the most part anyway, and truly examine the problems in America. A happy people are so because they are heard, understood and take care of. The people of this country need less innovation in cell phones, less laws that do nothing but take up space in the law books, and a HELL of a lot less lobbyists and big corporations determining so much. Success is one of the pinnacles of the American dream, but one person's success should not determine the quality of life for another.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was supposed to be protected from others trying to take away what you have earned, and anyone else having a heavy impact on what we do does not fit into this, especially when it isn't the lawmakers, but those who pander to them.

Mr. Iacocca would make (and has made) a great leader, not only because he has care for the concerns of the country, but because he challenges what is currently passing for leadership and is asking the people to do the same.

Christopher D. Elliott
The Iconocaste
www.theiconocaste.org

Baskingshark said...

This is fantastic - I cannot wait to put Anglicized versions of these questions to our candidates in the next UK elections. I suspect none will know how to answer any of them!

msryan said...

Lee,

I’m with you…..outraged as hell! When the President of the U.S is quoted as saying, “the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper,” we have huge issues in this country!

My question is: once you have successfully “lit the fire,” then what will you do? Perhaps the answer is in your latest book, perhaps not, but would you be so kind as to offer a summary of what your plan is for the “Second American Revolution?” How do you propose we go about taking back our country? Who will lead your call to action?

Interestingly, last week when I learned about your disgust with the state of the
U.S., I had just received a YouTube of Jesse Ventura’s new book promotion,
“Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me.” Coincidence? Books are great, but action takes a well orchestrated plan and the building of strong momentum (as you well know).

Reacting is all we do when our “servant” government abuses its power or takes steps that make no sense. Is it possible that the squeezing of the middle-class you refer to has been intentionally planned? That the U. S. deficit has been allowed to go out of sight intentionally? Presidential candidate, Ron Paul (protector of our Constitution), has proposed that Congress take back the monetary system from the Fed. Why do we allow a private consortium to control our gold and money supply?

I would love to be a “fly on the wall” during a meeting of a handful of high profile revolutionaries such as you, Jesse Ventura, and Ron Paul. Turning an ocean-liner takes time and a skilled commander. As you stated……it’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close! When will we stop talking and begin acting?

Mark Ryan

Kaen Schoen said...

Lee your book was right on. We have no leaders, no money and no education. I feel like I am living in the Roman Empire. Keep the masses entertained and stupid so they wont make waves.

Americans are working 2 jobs to survive and the family unit and mindless TV is about all they need. Shame on us. We were the fighters, the demonstrators and marchers and now we have become serfs doing the bidding of the 1% who skimmed our money of the top. We can not do much under the control of special interest. Maybe the middle class needs its own lobbyist. More important we need so leaders who will lead, that requires money.

So we sit around drinking coffee and complain no action, like a broken group of slaves.

So now we know there is a problem, how about the solution. That is all about money. So who is up for the roll? Where is the several million required to start a movement which requires a solution? I just lost my retirement saving in the housing mess. I am not alone, but I have fight left. Does anyone else? Saying is not doing. We need to be do-ers again.

ipsedixit7963 said...

I know most politicians would just lie. I don't like the whole Dem/Rep thing myself. I'm American. I do use the system to vote twice whenever possible.

I know how I'd answer...

1. Leaders are not born; they’re made in times of crisis. Name a crisis that you have faced, and talk about how you demonstrated leadership.
-- Leaders are born. We just don't recognize them until they take the reigns. Even then, you may not notice who the true leader is.

2. Name your two primary models for leadership from the past 50 years. These are the individuals you call to mind when you’re faced with a tough decision.
-- I've never based my decisions on what any other specific individual has done. Each situation that arises should be dealt with specific to that issue. If time permits, I conduct research. If time does not, I try to have an initial response prepared before proceding to entire mitigation.

3. The ability to collaborate with those who have different ideas and approaches is a key factor in leadership. Give an example of a time (professionally or politically) when you have successfully collaborated with people who have different views.
-- In my experience, I usually take all ideas into consideration and review them either with the team or individual involved. Establishing rapport is essential. Weighing ideas and talking through them provides logic to imparting what you are thinking. Being ready to admit you were wrong, is also a kep factor. We are all entitled to our beliefs and ideals. It is more difficult to accept someone elses.

4. As a businessman I learned that the best way to fully understand what it means to be responsible is to meet a payroll every week. In your life, when have you had tangible responsibility for the livelihoods of others – and what did the experience teach you about leadership?
-- I was responsible for others during my military carrer. I always briefed my expectations of anyone (and solicited theirs of me) that worked for me, prior to assigning them their duties. I've had to defend the actions of my troops to commanders and review boards. Standing up for those that worked for me was a challenge that I relished. One mistake does not define a persons capabilities. I've always looked for what might be causing a person to perform below expectations. Most often, it was a personal problem that I could address, or refer the person to a POC that specialized in that arena.

5. Being President is not a one person job. The team is just as important. Are you prepared to tell voters who will be on your team so they can make an educated choice? In particular, who are your candidates for Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Attorney General? (If you’re not prepared to name them, can you name individuals from recent history who have excelled in those positions?)
-- This would be tough. I would have to research this to find some people that truly care about the issues and people affected. My first instinct would be to find those people who are "doing", not "talking about".

6. The United State has one of the lowest voter turnout rates among democratic nations – especially for young single adults. What will you do to encourage young people to vote and participate in government?
-- Our young single adults will most likely show up if somebody new and fresh runs. I think it's about time to change the taxing policies on the single American as well. Why must they pay more taxes despite the fact they are less of a burden on the nation?

7. A leader inspires others to participate fully in the life of democracy. The words of JFK – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” – still resonate. Give a specific example of what you will ask citizens to do, and what sacrifices you will ask them to make.
-- I'm afraid JFK's words resonate in a tunnel to the past. Most of America asks "What can I do to make more money?" or "How can I write this off?" This nation has given up on leadership. We are a nation of people blindly voting party lines. I would ask that this nation come together as it did during the great 9/11 tragedy. Get to know your neighbors. Share with others. Respect people no matter what they believe. Treat everyone as though you were face to face with them. Give of yourself, and you will be surprised at the reward.

Mr. Fix Nigeria said...

Great expose! From the little I have read here, I see you have dealt with the critical issues of leadership in this book. I wish I could lay my hands on the book and also make it a point of discourse for politicians here in Nigeria.

Nigeria is really in dire need of leadership capital!

Thomas said...

1. I disagree, leaders can be made in times of crisis however most today have been bred. Heredity and lineage have been the dominating force in American politics for several decades. So long that most of us have never voted in race that wasn't fixed. Any previous demonstration of leadership one could call upon could have been orchestrated to give any desired appearance. Is not what one does right now a demonstration of leadership?

2. What is so tough about upholding the Constitution and the bill of Rights save for perhaps not knowing the Constitution and The Bill of Rights? There are no tough decisions only politicized decisions.

3. You should really check out the Independence Caucus. http://www.ourcaucus.com/ for look at what collaboration looks like. When supposed differing ideologies collaborate who do you think they are looking out for? You or the lobbyists?

4. Well sir I have never been a businessman. But as an employee to other businessmen I have been on the shall I say misfortunate end of the stick each and every time a failure at the top trickles down to me. What this looks like in the end is a collaboration of employer and government to collect taxes and literally steal the wealth of those who actually believe that their masters are there to help.

5. First you have to believe in the presidents mission. Because the SoS, SoD, the AG are little more than figureheads deployed to carry out the presidents agenda. What you have to look at is a candidates advisers. Both financial and foreign policy advisers are the architects of any given agenda. Read, "The Grand Chessboard" by Zbignew Brezinski and then read, "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael Ruppert and then maybe "The Rise of the Fourth Reich" by Jim Marrs. Then tell me if this ship needs a course correction.

6. Here again this assumes that is what they want. The last thing they want is competition. Those that have different ideas are marginalized by a completely controlled media. They only want you to lay if you play their game.

7. Why must citizens continue to give up more and more? Authority never relinquishes authority. If you give up liberty for security you will lose both. A more honest question might be. Are you as citizens willing to give up a little more of the fruits of your labor to fuel big business that won't take care of you and doesn't care about you only profits? Is financing the cost of your own enslavement okay? If not, is it okay to lie to you about it and do it anyway?

In the words of JFK “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control.”

Only when you understand the nature of the beast you intend to tame can meaningful questions be asked. Only when you are prepared to hear the truth will you seek the highest understanding of the law of the land. Only then can the truth see you free.

andy.eyler said...

Iacocca Rocks! and tells it like it is! I remember reading one of his books and he said that we rent part of the white house, from i think it was china or japan. top that one!

John said...

Lee, in all honesty you are probably the closest thing to a roll model I could look up to and believe in.

Thank you for that.