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Leaders Talk about Ideals Not Strategies

The Blog



Leaders Talk about Ideals Not Strategies

Scott Alexander

Disclaimer: This is not a political post - it IS a Leadership post.

With the release of the "torture report", we've heard many people from politicians to pundits to Facebook friends discussing the merits of torture and the impact of torture. Depending on their perspective, torture is either a handy tool or a method that perpetuates hatred and ensures future attacks.

I was pleasantly surprised when John McCain rose above all that clatter and started talking Ideals. 

 Here are some of the highlights contained in his speech:

  • 6:55: "The question isn't about our enemies, it's about us - about who we were; who we are; who we aspire to be.
  • 7:30: "We fight for an IDEA"
  • 8:04 "Our enemies act without conscience - we MUST NOT"
  • 8:35 "We are defending a sacred ideal"
  • 9:05 "We need not risk our national honor to prevail"

This is the conversation our leaders need to have.  Who are we?  What do we stand for? Do our actions represent our ideals?  If we can answer those questions, the strategies will take care of themselves.

Business Leaders - are you have meetings that focus on your ideals? Or are you just talking strategy? Does your culture know the ideals of the company?

True Leaders look at the big picture and garner commitment to a set of ideals.  When this happens, EVERYONE begins to create strategies that are consistent with the ideals.