Imagine what it would be like to run your startup like a divided government. Approximately half the company would fervently execute your plans, even when they obviously made no sense. The other half would obstruct your recommendations, including those clearly in the company’s best interest.
Sound insane? Welcome to the next two years of American politics. A lame duck President and a divided government.
However, it doesn’t have to be two years of rancor and zero results. Divided governments, as well as divided corporations, have historically rallied behind strong leadership that emphasizes problem solving over demagoguery and infighting. For instance, Ronald Reagan’s party never held control of the House of Representatives during his presidency and Bill Clinton only had that luxury for two of his eight years in office.
President Obama, Senate Majority leader-to-be McConnell and House Speaker Boehner would all be well served to internalize the following leadership aphorisms. Although the sources of this wisdom held widely different political opinions, but they all shared the fundamental understanding that a true leader represents all the members of their organization, not just those with whom they agree.
If you haven’t already subscribed yet,
subscribe now for free weekly JohnGreathouse.com articles!
1. “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
John Kennedy, US President
Winston Churchill, UK Prime Minister
3. “Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, US Civil Rights Activist
4. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
Max DePree, US Entrepreneur
5. “I am a strong individualist by personal habit, inheritance, and conviction; but it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together, can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action.”
Theodore Roosevelt, US President
Ralph Waldo Emerson, US Author and Philosopher
Ronald Reagan, US President
8. “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.”
Arnold H. Glasow, US Author
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Civil Rights Activist
10. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
Andrew Carnegie, US Entrepreneur
11. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”
Peter Drucker, US Author
Follow my startup-oriented Twitter feed here: @johngreathouse. I promise I will never Tweet about that killer burrito I just ate – just startup stuff.
Image Credit: Wikipedia