Tag Archives: America

Empowering with Purpose: Why Hillary Clinton is an Effective Leader

Men and women around the world consider Hillary Clinton an exemplary leader.  Her leadership style resonates with many, ranging from listening intensely to being diplomatically assertive.  She has smart answers to today’s hard questions, and takes the best interest of the community seriously.   Highly skilled and intelligent, she has capitalized on her uniqueness in a turbulent political and business world to lead effectively in many important leadership roles, including First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, Senator of New York, and Secretary of State.

A leader cannot accomplish anything alone – a loyal and committed following is conducive to making a meaningful difference.  Hillary has a track record of effectively driving change by use of expert and referent power – that is, influencing others to rally beside her by sharing her powerful vision as well as supporting it with facts and evidence.

Hillary’s expert power was developed over many years of hard work in numerous capacities.  She realized her passion for public service early in her career during law school, but turned her vision into reality as she dedicated the rest of her life to serving her communities and gaining valuable insight along the way.  Her ability to convert pressing issues into impactful initiatives has as contributed largely to her thought leadership in a multitude of areas.

In Peter Drucker’s article, What Makes and Effective Executive, he examines the practices which enable leaders to collect the knowledge needed and formulate action to drive a significant impact.  During her 3-year tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary took it upon herself to travel over 956,733 miles to 112 nations to fully understand firsthand the extent of her responsibility and prioritize the issues facing her organization.  One of her biggest wins as First Lady was the enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, demonstrating her ability to build rapport and trust with both supporting and opposing groups.

Perhaps the most admirable of Hillary’s leadership qualities is her courage and modesty to assume personal responsibility and learn from her setbacks, including her loss in the primary election in 2008.  She takes criticism seriously without getting discouraged, and successfully bounces back from every downfall with a more seasoned perspective.  People are fallible, including experienced leaders –nothing is more respectable than for someone, like Hillary Clinton, to be unafraid to admit her mistakes, and move forward with persistence and determination.

It is this tremendous humility and professional will that contributes to Hillary’s referent power and makes her a “Level Five Leader,” a concept developed by author and consultant Jim Collins.  She conducts herself with compelling modesty, always awarding credit where it is due and celebrating the successes of others.  While many emulate her leadership ability when leading their own organizations and teams, she humbly acknowledges that she is just as inspired by her colleagues and supporters as they are by her, saying, “I always believed you could learn something from nearly everybody you meet, if you’re open to it.”

According to Collins, professional will means, “demonstrating an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results—no matter how difficult.”   One of the most significant initiatives Hillary spearheaded was the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.  She facilitated a shift in attitude among officials who were blocking the legislation, helping them understand how the bill represented core American values they share, while also listening and acknowledging their concerns.  She called the effort, “4 years of hard work to strengthen the relationship… getting them to see our point of view, and learning more about theirs.”

In today’s dynamic environment, Hillary demonstrates a stanch resilience to find creative solutions to complex issues and persevere in the face of difficult challenges.  It is unreasonable to expect any person to be a “Level Five Leader” 100 percent of the time, but Hillary Clinton embodies “a clear catalyst from good to great” in critical times when her judgment matters most.  Even those who disagree with her ideas see her in the highest regard as she has mastered the art of compromise and building productive relationships.  She says, “Part of the great challenge of living is defining yourself in your moment, of seizing the opportunities you are given, and of making the very best choices you can.”  As she has in each of her past roles, she continues to incorporate this philosophy into her leadership approach, guiding and inspiring others along the way.

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A brighter future for immigrants

People come to the U.S. in search of a better life, bringing their children with them in hopes that they may enjoy the same level of opportunity and freedom as do all Americans. We truly need a system that allows children who were raised in the U.S., in spite of their undocumented status to easily transition into the system without fear of deportation.  The United States should be a country that can be viewed as a sanctuary, not one that requires people to jump through arbitrary hoops in search of a better life.

“I was released today because I am a low priority and not considered a threat,” Mr. Vargas said by telephone shortly after his release. “I would argue that the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country are not a threat either.”

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Let Freedom Ring.

As our break from complaining about America to celebrate America comes to a close, I just wanted to reflect on what the meaning of Independence Day is to me.

We are so lucky to live in this country. While we are definitely not without our conflicting views regarding different issues, I’m just thankful we are even able to have that freedom to disagree with each other and to even disagree with our government. And I’m thankful that [IN THEORY] we have a system in which out of every contention and dispute, we are able to reach a consensus that makes sense for the majority of Americans and get one step closer to a more perfect union. Relative to the other political systems out there, ours definitely serves as a model for other countries.

But freedom isn’t free. There were (and still are) many heroes who fought to protect our liberty so that we could live our comfortable lives here at home. Many didn’t return home, and many of the ones who did were deeply impacted by the unimaginable and were never the same again. I am so grateful for every person who has served in the United States military and sacrificed so much for their country, their families, and people like me who they’ll never even meet.

To all you service men and women: While Independence Day is the most appropriate day to show appreciation for all you’ve sacrificed for our country, please know that we always feel thankful. Though we will never be able to completely understand what you went through, please know we will never forget the invaluable contributions you made to the well-being of our country as well as our own personal prosperity.

Well, back on the grind tomorrow – Let freedom ring. 🙂

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Another Win for America

In spite of the two disappointing failures of the Supreme Court yesterday (regarding voting rights & affirmative action), equality and love prevailed today with the decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Seeing hearts and minds becoming more accepting and considerate of others make me feel more proud to be an American.  I was moved emotionally to read stories about everyone’s reactions.  The more tolerant we are of our differences, the more harmonious our community will be.  One of the most beautiful things about America is the variety of beliefs, ideas, skill-levels, and experiences of each person, and the way in which we interact and appreciate each other.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this generation.  To witness so many innovative technologies emerge, to watch groundbreaking policies unfold, and to see the community come closer together.  We still have a lot of progress to make, but I’m so happy to see what has been accomplished so far.  There will be challenges.  There will always be opposition.  But we must continue to empower each other the best we can.  The simplest way we can make an impact everyday is to treat others with kindness and respect, serving as an exemplar of the change we wish to see in the world.  I will not live to see a perfect world, but I’m happy to see that we are slowly taking steps to get closer to a better one.

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