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What Makes A Great President?

February 5, 2016

By Michael Leeden

We moved to Washington from Rome early in 1977, and I worked at CSIS, then home to many luminaries of the Republican Establishment. There was a lot of talk about Ronald Reagan, running for the Republican presidential nomination, and most of that talk was anything but flattering. By and large the luminaries thought the California governor was much too extreme, a far-out conservative incapable of attracting the independents who decided presidential elections.

None of the luminaries—all well-established Washington insiders—thought he had a chance of winning.

Even worse, if by some chance Reagan were elected president, the country would be doomed to four years of bad government, and quite possibly a shooting war with the Soviet Union, then flexing its muscles under the Carter presidency.

So I learned a lesson: the “insiders” aren’t reliable. You’re better off taking a hard look at would-be leaders. The key thing is character, and the key element of character, as Reagan demonstrated, is the ability to make decisions. And if, as will often happen, some decisions work out badly, then change it. Try something different.

Read the full article at Forbes.com: What Makes A Great President?

Issue Categories : Leadership,