Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When greatness beckons

Did Barack Obama visit “the dark night of his soul” in the aftermath of the Newtown Connecticut mass killing of innocent children? That the time is now to do something?

Crises can bring out the best in a leader aided by circumstances opening the way.  “Moments of greatness” as Robert E. Quinn from the University of Michigan asserts come infrequently to leaders. Most of the time, leaders operate in a normal state staying within their comfort zones, allowing external forces to direct their behaviours and experiences. But, “the fundamental state of leadership (greatness) shows up when leaders don’t copy anyone”. They “draw on their own fundamental values and capabilities, operating in a frame of mind that is true to them”.

President Obama has a rare opportunity to change the destructive gun culture that sets America significantly apart from other developed nations.

Will he take up the mantle of greatness? Not for its sake but for the innocent lives that will be saved. What a legacy if he does.

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