In all my years of participating in and observing presidential elections, I have never heard so many people—both Democrats and Republicans—expressing disappointment with what’s going on in Washington. The complaints are not so much about the leadership capability of the current president as they are about the political system in general. Probably at no time in our country have we had so many major problems—yet we don’t seem to be making much progress in addressing them. Both parties seem to be more interested in getting their incumbents reelected than in problem solving.
In light of this situation several people have said to me, “Ken, you ought to write a book called The One Minute Manager Goes to Washington.” When I mention this to others, they laugh but often follow with, “That might not be a bad idea.” Perhaps because my mission statement has to do with being a “loving teacher and example of simple truths,” some people think I might have some suggestions that could make a difference.
So finally, after much prodding, I’ve decided to give it a try—because our leaders need some new ideas if America is going to regain our reputation as “a shining city upon a hill.” Instead of writing a book, though, I’m writing a series of twelve blogs that will focus on leading Government at a higher level. So watch this space! Every two weeks, you are invited to read a new installment of my ideas for alleviating Washington’s leadership woes. As blog-worthy incidents arise—as they surely will during any election season—I’ll throw in a few of my thoughts regarding those events as well. I hope you will feel free to participate in this dialogue by leaving a comment or two along the way.
In thinking about what could help to turn around the system in Washington, I have been struck by four leadership secrets I have learned over the years that could lead to effective solutions to many of America’s dilemmas. In the next segment of this series I will introduce you to the first secret.