A Look At What Real Leadership Skills Might Look Like

March 27th, 2020

CQUF9TkUEAEDQF8.jpgIf you go into any bookstore and go to the section with business books, you will find enough books on leadership to fill its own library.

The problem with most of them is that they focus on how to get followers to follow the orders of the leader. To enact in real life, the old kids game of follow-the-leader.

It’s often about trying to get inside the head of followers to understand what makes them tick and how to motivate them. But suppose, the real power of the leader was not to try and motivate followers but to be clear enough about articulating his or her own intent in such a way that it becomes almost axiomatic for others to understand and want to follow. Suppose motivation came from within the leader, not from external forces or orders.

That’s at the heart of the approach to leadership put forth by retired US Navy Captain David Marquet in his new work Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say--and What You Don't.

My conversation with David Marquet: 

Can Journalism Be Saved: A Conversation with Nicholas Lemann

March 21st, 2020

Nicholas-Lemann-canobiefilms.us_.jpgOne of the seemingly consistent things about creative destruction, particularly as a result of technology, is that we have a short memory for what came before the change. We remember just immediately preceding a dramatic shift in some vital element of our lives, but we forget what came before. It has the patina of making us nostalgic for the remembered past, even though we forget the long history.

This certainly seems to be true of journalism. We look at the landscape of what venture capitalist Jason Calacanis calls “late-stage journalism” and we see a world that is certainly far from what folks once though was the Golden Age of journalism in the 60s, 70s, and 80 and ’90s. But as a part of broader history, the picture is different. And perhaps it is only in seeing that difference, that we can adapt to the economic, political and socials needs of journalism today.

To talk about this, I'm joined by the journalist and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Nicholas Lemann.  His story, Can Journalism be Saved, appears in the most recent issue of the The New York Review of Books.  

My conversation with Nicholas Lemann: 

David Plouffe on Beating Donald Trump

March 18th, 2020

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_84183031_14Even if you are not a political junkie, even if you only pay attention occasionally, the one thing you should have learned is that campaigns matters. And while this is true at the most local level, it is true in bold relief in our national presidential campaigns.

 

It seems that in the modern political era, presidential cycles each layer on new accessories to the campaign process.

In 1960 it was the televised debate. In l964 it was an insurgent winning primaries and the nomination. In 1968, it was the beginning of the politics of division and the Southern Strategy. In 1976, we saw the full flowering of the power of primaries and people over back rooms. In 1980 we saw the consolidation of personality over politics. In 1992 the coming together of personality and the emerge of modern campaign techniques. And in 2008 the first full emergence of GOTV efforts, digital media, more sophisticated polling combined with old school grassroots politics.

It didn’t hurt that in Barak Obama there was also a great candidate with finely tuned political instincts and a brilliant campaign lead by a man steeped in the history of campaigns. That was David Plouffe. He continues his political wisdom in his new work A Citizen's Guide to Beating Donald Trump.

My conversation with David Plouffe: 

A Bank Behind Every Crime: Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction

March 9th, 2020

42422800_303.jpgUsually attributed to Balzac is the observation that behind every great fortune is a great crime. In this day and age, It might be paraphrased as that behind every great financial crime is a great bank.

In the case of many such crimes in the 20th and 21st century lies Deutsche Bank. In its efforts to

grow it did away with all traditional ideas of risk management. In its pursuit of fees and earnings, bank executives got into business with some of the world’s most shady and financially needy characters. Russian oligarchs, the Trumps, the Kushners, the Mercers, Vladimir Putin, and many other key Russiagate figures were among their customers.

It got involved with other banks in Germany, Moscow, Cyprus, and Moldavia; money laundering; real estate deals; hedge funds; indictments; bankruptcies; and a cast of characters orbiting it that feels more like the bar scene in the original Star Wars.

Trying to tie all of this together into one overarching narrative is David Enrich in his book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction

My conversation with David Enrich:

When Will The Boomers Leave the Stage?

March 3rd, 2020

Screen%2BShot%2B2020-03-03%2Bat%2B6.54.3We are living through what is perhaps the last hurrah of boomer leaders. It’s hard to believe that it was only 28 years ago that we elected, in Bill Clinton, the first of only three boomer presidents, after having eight presidents, from Ike to George H.W. Bush, who represented the Greatest Generation.

Today we have a cadre of boomers, all septuagenarians, trying to make one last attempt in a world moving and changing faster than ever, trying to keep alive the aging boomer legacy.

As they do, a whole new generation is waiting in the wings. Soon, in the words of JFK, the torch will be passed to a new generation of Americans. Millennials shaped not by JFK, as so many boomers were, by their memories of 9/11, endless war and the financial crisis.

Capturing the political zeitgeist of these millennials at this moment is Charlotte Alter, in her new book The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America

My conversation with Charlotte Alter:

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