Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Smarts and leadership
James Travers of the Star has come up with one of the more unique — and probably accurate — descriptions of what's required of a political leader:
Shrewd enough to compromise and just bright enough to be briefed.Many pundits focus on IQ and intelligence — well, they do when Republican presidents are concerned. However, I think Travers raises an interesting point. You don't have to be a university professor to lead the country. If that were so, then many our great leaders have been woefully unqualified. That's hardly the case.
Is it ideal that our leaders have the intellectual ability and curiosity to know about things even before they're put in a position to run things? Yes. Is it just one leadership asset among many? Yes. Is it a prerequisite for leadership? No. As Travers suggests, you have to be smart enough to know when someone else is being smart. That's all. In fact, you can be super smart intellectually but not socially. The latter would nullify the former. That's probably not what you want in a leader.