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If there were a Nobel Prize for Leadership, what would the criteria be and whom would you nominate?
Alan Webber, a founding editor of Fast Company magazine, is an award-winning editor, author and columnist. His most recent book is “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self.”
My Nobel Prize for Leadership would recognize individuals who have unquestionable moral authority. That’s the litmus test: moral authority. Not achievement broadly defined, or abstract qualities that can be attributed to leaders, but clear and undeniable moral authority. It may be the quality least in supply these days.
A few years ago, I gave a talk to a CEO and his group of top managers. At the end of my talk, which focused on leadership and change in business, the CEO asked his team, “Who in America today do you think has moral authority? In business, in government, or in the nonprofit world?” There was a five-minute silence. No one offered a single name.
Today, when I talk in front of a group and try to describe the dramatic changes the world is undergoing and the challenges that face America and the rest of the globe, I ask them to suggest a leader with moral authority from any sector in America. The silence still lasts at least five minutes.
We need to cultivate leaders who can stand that test, leaders whose commitment to doing the right thing and standing for the right principles shines so brightly and so clearly that they deserve our support and recognition. We need to establish the idea that moral authority is not an abstract good, but an actual and practical way to lead — that individuals who exude moral authority are the people we not only respect, but ultimately revere.
Now that I’ve suggested the criterion, rather than having me suggest a nominee, let me ask the question the CEO asked his team: Who do you think has moral authority in America today? Who would you nominate for the Noble Prize in Leadership? Source
My two picks, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Fire away!! (Rush being a leader goes without saying)