As I expected, yesterday’s session on Leadership and the Next Presidency was just plain riveting. I encourage you to read the Kennedy School blog to get a taste of the conversation. And what a collection of people.
For example, my table group included the legendary Werner Erhard whose original claim to fame (and some would say infamy) was his development of the EST program/movement. I found him to be a warm, smart and very accessible teammate for the day’s conversation. And in damn fine shape for 72 years old. For any age, actually.
And speaking of table groups, I also had the chance to catch up with my old friend Pat Lencioni who remains one of my favorite people on the planet.
Warren Bennis is one of my leadership development heroes; unfortunately, he wasn’t physically able to travel, so he sent us a note via the blogosphere. Here’s the last bit of his take on the requirements of the next president. Note the conspicuous use of the “L” word towards the end. Sounds like a Radical Leap to me:
“What all the candidates must have is an inexhaustible supply of mental and physical energy. When I think about the great leaders I’ve studied and know-Pete Carroll, USC’s remarkable football coach or the exemplary Bill George, come to mind-they are always on. Always intense. They never get to say ‘I don’t want to.’ They win on their bad days as the great pitcher, Nolan Ryan, once said. They just can’t be ready for something. They’ve got be ready and prepared for anything. Yes, even that-cough-3 am phone call. And, if I can be personal for a minute-I mean real personal-I know I’ve got to finish this blog, my first ever, before morning because I said I would and because I want to. Because I love writing about ideas. Because the topic you are engaging in today is so important. Because I care deeply about the mission of CPL and its success. The job of the US Presidency dwarfs any other as far as energy, commitment, and desire go. You’ve got to love it, every minute of it, 24/7. [my italics, of course!]
I wish I could be with you today and be part of the conversation. But right now an airplane for me is no country for old men.”