The International Political Climate
Business leaders and generals and political leaders all lead high-stress lives. Many people depend on them for everything and their decisions have an enormous impact. It is therefore very useful to understand what works and what doesn’t. Indeed, what happened in the past is the best predictor of what will happen in the future.
.  .  . A limitation that seems apparent in this analysis is that while there are similarities between business and war they are not exactly the same. Sam Walton is not Alexander the Great. If things go bad for Sam, he loses money (Burns 45). If things go bad for Alexander, he and his soldiers are killed and his country destroyed. There is an important difference. When Hank Greenberg was voted out of AIG by the board of directors because of some of the mistakes he made with management, . his penalty wasn’t exactly the same as Julius Caesar’s. Life and death are rarely at stake in the business world (although sometimes they are). Power is a complex thing.
For me personally, power and leadership mean a number of things. Powerful leaders don’t need to be bigger than life. They don’t need to be historical figures. They are sometimes just people in your local community. Something that has had a big influence on me is the idea of integrity and leadership. I believe integrity is the most pressing leadership issue of today. To me, it means having sound moral principles and being honest and upright. In our contemporary world, it is clear we have a serious lack of these important principles. But it is not enough to say that it is important to have integrity—we must take steps to instill it where it is lacking.
.  .  .  . To begin with step one: discerning what is right and what is wrong is not an innate behavior or characteristic. it is learned (Kouzes 67). Education is key to building up this moral faculty and becoming powerful. This faculty is built up through experience and through principles. In a country as politically complicated and as diverse as the United States, this takes a lot of work. We can’t shirk from hard work. we must embrace it. Step two: Sometimes integrity means acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost.