The Ponder Effect | Is a good politician necessarily a good leader?
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Is a good politician necessarily a good leader?

…And does it even matter?

Last week, more than one person chose to comment not on the issues that matter to them but on the leadership qualities that matter to them. In some ways, the most significant issue this election may be leadership itself. But shouldn’t that always be the case? Is it always the case, or not?

When we think about both how and why people get elected, does leadership seem to matter all that much? And what do we even mean by leadership? What are the qualities of an effective leader? What are the qualities you are looking for in a candidate, or does that even matter to you?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

6 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    October 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    The answer is no. Case in point Donald J Trump. He obviously had the political skills (the ability to convince people to believe in him) but he certainly lacks the skills needed to lead this country. On the other hand, a good leader must have some political skills in order to accomplish his goals. Eisenhower when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces was a great leader. He had the ability to make the tough decisions when they had to be made i.e. the D Day invasion. But he also had to exercise considerable political convince to various military and political leaders to work as a unified force. So, my point is, I believe leadership is the first requirement but it also must have political skills to accompany it.

  • Anonymous

    October 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    I go around and around because I’m not certain what those identities mean sometimes. A good leader to me is someone who can rally/lead a group to support them or be lead to make something happen or continue to happen. They don’t have to be perfect people, but admitting mistakes and being accountable is huge! Leaders in a democracy (I mistyped as “democrazy” – ha!) are supposed to listen to constituents and follow what the people want while balancing their own agendas. Politicians are supposed to be leaders who know how to work the systems of government to get those things to happen for the people they represent.
    An effective leader to me is someone who can see the collective whole need and intelligently find solutions to problems without succumbing to greed and their own personal needs (like their ego). I look for a candidate that doesn’t fight dirty, even if their opponent does. Someone who has positive ideas that they can back up with data is very appealing.

  • Anonymous

    October 29, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    My husband and I had this conversation recently and decided that the answer is no – a politician is a politician and a leader is a leader, and the two intersect less often than is ideal. I recently listened to a TED Radio Hour about leaders, and the consensus from all those interviewed was that TRUE leaders who make the biggest impact 1) Speak about a dream or a vision, not a solution 2) Invite others to come alongside them to make those dreams a reality. It was actually pretty encouraging, because it made me feel that the state of American politics as it is today can’t last forever … we’re just waiting for an enigmatic leader who decides, also, to become a politician. Let’s hope it’s a fellow ponderer!

  • Anonymous

    October 31, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    We may have found the root of the root of the problem. If we don’t think good politicians are good leaders—if we don’t strive to elect people whom we believe will effectively lead us—then how can we possibly think we will have a thriving country? Our divisiveness may be the result of the fact that we are no longer electing good leaders nor do we even seem to believe that is possible. In preparing for the election, I am looking for candidates who have the leadership qualities that I believe we need in order to solve our problems and forge ahead with unity. Those qualities are many but include a true ability to listen and to communicate honestly and openly.

  • Anonymous

    November 1, 2018 at 11:15 am

    A leader is someone who moves you to embrace his/her ideas and motivates you to action. Hopefully a leader is moral, ethical, thoughtful, respectful and works for the greater good. Sadly we know that is not always true.
    In today’s world I think a “good” politician is one who has media charisma. We tend to get caught up in looks, language and emotion. I think we can all think of “politicians” on each side who would have been great presidents, senators, etc. but lacked the glamorous charisma that is so seductive on television. So in my definition a successful politician is a good leader but certainly is not always working for the greater good. So yes it does matter. Tremendously!

  • Anonymous

    November 3, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    In the Wall Street Journal this weekend, columnist Peggy Noonan has a great piece on exactly this topic. Lots of wisdom in there that crosses party lines.