Leadership, The President, and The Redskins

Some people are natural leaders whereas others need to develop leadership qualities and grow into the role.  For this latter group it is useful to look at examples of leadership and see what kind can be learned.  We’ve had some vivid examples recently courtesy of President Barack Obama and also from the Washington Redskins.

The President is pushing harder than ever for health care reform, even though the public has been increasingly skittish.  Critics cite this as further proof of what they see as the President’s arrogance and recklessness.  Supporters see a man who is committed to principles instead of polls.  Interestingly, that reminds me of George W. Bush.  So, should conservatives say, “Maybe we should admire a man who sticks to his convictions,” or should liberals say, “Wait a minute.  Things didn’t work out so well for the last guy”?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in our nation’s capital, the new men in charge of the Washington Redskins, General Manager Bruce Allen and Head Coach Mike Shanahan, cut 10 players–several of them key contributors–from the team.  New leaders of sports teams are always faced with a dilemma–implement their strategies with a new team that might not have the right personnel for them, or figure out what their players’ strengths are and utilize those strengths.  The Redskins have decided to clean house and find players who will fit their new team.  It is hard to argue with that strategy in this particular case–the Redskins were 4-12 last year.

One thing the President and the Redskins have in common is they are sticking with their philosophies even though that makes things more complicated, at least in the near future.

If the President and the Redskins create more positives than negatives with their changes, people will stand behind them.  But if the American people don’t like what the government does with health care or what the Redskins do on the field, changes will be made at the top.  Ultimately, the President and the leadership of the Redskins won’t be judged by their strategies; they’ll be judged by their success.