The Pulitzer Prize winning presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, delivers a number of short sessions on a new web-series called “Masterclass.” Throughout her long career she has written extensively on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
As I listened to her, I copied her definition of what constitutes great leadership and couldn’t help but compare the four great presidents above to the current occupant of the Oval Office. She said:
“Leadership is the ability to use one’s talent, skills and emotional intelligence to mobilize people to a common purpose and to make a positive difference in people’s lives. The qualities important for great leadership are humility, empathy, resilience, self-awareness, self-reflection, the ability to create a team where people can argue with you and question your assumptions, and the ability to communicate to people with stories to make them feel a part of what you’re saying. The most important thing is the willingness to take a risk because the ambition for the greater good has become greater for you than for yourself.”