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谁更有资格当美国总统

John Ryan 2012年08月16日

奥巴马和罗姆尼即将为美国总统的宝座展开激烈的争夺。谁更有资格当总统?本文将为你介绍全世界最有权势的CEO,也就是美国总统应该具备的五项关键领导能力。

    美国总统大选一天天临近,未来几个月,关于总统候选人的领导力孰强孰弱,时事评论人和各党派必将唇枪舌剑,展开论战;奥巴马总统和米特•罗姆尼州长本人也将针锋相对,尽全力压倒对方。

    对选民来说,可以选择相信他们的话,也可以选择相信自己。如果读者有兴趣自己来判断哪一位候选人更加优秀,不妨继续往下读。

    下面我们将为你介绍作为全世界最有权势的CEO——美国总统应该具备的五项关键领导能力。今年秋天在收看集会和辩论以及关于选举的媒体报道时,大家可以认真给各位候选人在以下几个方面的表现打分:

    1. 自我认知。能干的领导一定要从真正了解和接受自己的优缺点开始。但在自我评判的时候,不论是优点还是缺点,我们本人往往是最糟糕的评判者。因此,候选人们不能“自己说了算”。相反,他们是否能够把一些敢于直言的人团结在自己周围,听听这些人实事求是地评价自己的表现,而不是光拣好听的说?他们是否能根据反馈意见做出积极的改变?

    实际上,美国国父乔治•华盛顿并没有历史书中描述的那么坚定和理性。罗恩•切尔诺在他曾经获奖的乔治•华盛顿传记中写道,火爆的脾气让华盛顿经常做出愚蠢的言行。但他有几位值得信赖的盟友,不会让他为所欲为。在他们的敦促下,华盛顿用了几年时间来控制自己的脾气。在成为美国首任总统时,他已经基本改正了缺点,而这一点对于新生的美国而言至关重要。

    2. 愿景:一个令人信服的未来愿景可以鼓舞民心,明确目标,让每位国民、不同机构和全国上下向同一个方向努力。看一看候选人对成功的愿景。他们的愿景是什么?他们有切实可行的愿景吗?还是说大部分只是很小的目标,或这只是竞选策略而已?候选人都急于赢得选举,往往会要求选民奉上自己的支持,但却从来拿不出像样的理由。

    相比之下,对于应该带领美国走向何方,富兰克林•D•罗斯福提出了一个决定性的愿景。在大萧条时期最黑暗的日子里,罗斯福相信,通过平衡不受管制的工业资本主义和社会主义这两个极端,可以为美国数十年的繁荣奠定基础。通过罗斯福新政,他在发展与安全之间找到了一条可持续的中间路线。即使在二战爆发之前,罗斯福依然希望美国放弃孤立主义,参与国际事务,而他在战争期间的领导能力重新确立了美国在全球事务中的地位。

    3. 组建团队:顶级领导者很清楚,在如今日新月异的信息时代,没有人全能全知。所以,他们需要组建团队,弥补自己在知识、洞察力和经验方面的不足。选民不妨自己思考一下,奥巴马与罗姆尼会组建什么样的团队。他们最亲密的同僚是否能给他们带来新思想和丰富的背景,甚至是相左的观点?或者,他们的思想全都高度一致?

    正如多丽丝•卡恩斯•古德温在《政敌团队》(Team of Rivals)中所写的那样,1861年,亚伯拉罕•林肯入主华盛顿的时候,既没有位高权重的朋友,对华盛顿的政治规则也不甚了解。他完全可能像其他几位美国总统那样,自己摸索着孤胆前行。但他并没有这么做,而是将一群完全不相干的政治巨头召集在一起,组成了自己的团队,其中甚至还包括他最大的对手。他的团队经常很难达成共识,但毫无疑问,这个团队集中了最老谋深算的人才。通过听取不同意见,以及透过尽可能多的角度来看待问题,林肯极大地提高了自己的能力,在动荡不安的内战时期做出了周全的决策。

    4. 从错误中学习:判断力是领导力的核心,而要培养判断力,失误不可避免。几乎每一位美国总统都做出过糟糕的决定,所以,下一任总统也不可避免。问题在于:奥巴马和罗姆尼能从错误中学到什么?他们要多久才能醒悟?更关键的是,他们是否愿意承认错误?

    很多人或许并不相信,乔治•华盛顿在战略或战术方面的能力并不出众。正如大卫•麦卡洛在《1776》一书中的描述,在美国独立战争早期,华盛顿有些优柔寡断,经常犯一些令人瞠目结舌的判断错误。但华盛顿的优点是异乎寻常地坚韧。而且,他还养成了一个习惯,即快速分析战场指挥失误,从失误中学习,而且绝对不再犯同样的错误。后来,他把这个习惯用于处理国际外交事务和对付国会,发挥了重要的作用。这也表明,作为一名领导人,必须始终不断地自我提高。

    With the U.S. presidential election fast approaching, we will hear a lot from pundits and partisans over the next few months, not to mention President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney themselves, about how one candidate's leadership skills are superior to his opponent's.

    You can take their word for it -- or you can decide for yourself. And if you're interested in making up your own mind about which candidate is the better leader, please read on.

    Here are five crucial leadership skills for the most powerful CEO of all -- the U.S. President. As you watch the conventions and debates this fall and follow press coverage of the election, give some serious thought to how the candidates score in each of these areas:

    1. Self-awareness: Effective leadership starts with real knowledge and acceptance of our own strengths and weaknesses. And, typically, we are our own worst judges in both areas. So candidates shouldn't try to figure this out themselves. Instead, do they attract people who tell them what they need to hear about their performance, instead of what they want to hear? And do they make positive changes based on that feedback?

    George Washington was not always the soul of steadiness and reason that history books make him out to be. In fact, as Ron Chernow writes in his award-winning biography of the first president, Washington had a hair-trigger temper that could lead him to say and do foolish things. But some trusted associates wouldn't let him get away with it, and, at their urging, he worked for years to master this problem. By the time he became our first president, he had mostly corrected it, which was crucial for our country in its early years.

    2. Vision: A compelling view of the future inspires, clarifies, and focuses the work of individuals, organizations, and entire nations. Take a look at both candidates' visions of success. What are they? Do they even have one, or are their goals mostly small and tactical? In the rush to win an election, candidates can ask people to get behind an effort without ever really giving them a good reason why.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, by contrast, had a sweeping vision of where he wanted to lead America. In the darkest days of the Great Depression, he believed that the U.S. could set the stage for decades of prosperity by balancing the extremes of unregulated industrial capitalism and socialism. He delivered the New Deal to plow a lasting middle ground between growth and security. Even before World War II, FDR also wanted the U.S. to move from isolationism to international involvement -- and his leadership through that war ultimately redefined the United States' position on the global stage.

    3. Building a team: World-class leaders know they can't be good at everything or know everything in our age of nonstop action and information. So they build teams that make up for their shortcomings in knowledge, perspective, and experience. Ask yourself what kind of teams Obama and Romney have built. Do their closest colleagues bring new ideas, varied backgrounds, and contradictory views to the table? Or do they all think alike?

    As Doris Kearns Goodwin explains in Team of Rivals, Abraham Lincoln came to Washington, D.C. in 1861 without many influential friends or even much knowledge of how politics in the city worked. He could have just blundered ahead on his own as some of our presidents have done. Instead, he pulled together a disparate set of political titans that included some of his greatest enemies. His team always struggled to stay on the same page, but there was no question it included the most experienced and astute talent available. By inviting disagreement and viewing a situation from as many angles as possible, Lincoln greatly enhanced his ability to make well-informed decisions during a gut-wrenching era of civil war.

    4. Learning from mistakes: Judgment is at the core of leadership, and developing it requires missteps. All of our presidents have made some bad decisions, as our next president will inevitably do as well. The question is: how well do Obama and Romney learn from their mistakes -- and how quickly? And, even more crucially, are they willing to admit them in the first place?

    George Washington, believe it or not, was not a man of great strategic or tactical brilliance. As David McCullough writes in 1776, he was prone to indecision and stupefying errors of judgment in the early years of the Revolutionary War. But Washington was incredibly persistent. More than that, he also made a habit of quickly examining what went wrong on the battlefield, learning from it and not letting it happen again. It was a habit that he later applied to great effect with international diplomacy and his dealings with Congress, and it meant he was always improving as a leader.

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