Learning From Bush’s Leadership Mistakes

Given the upcoming presidential inauguration, it seems appropriate to look back at some lessons we can learn from President Bush’s tenure.  Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review, listed 10 mistakes made by George Bush that shaped his presidency. While some issues are specific to the president’s situation, there’s a lot that leaders can learn from many of these errors. So here’s “my take” on some of the broader leadership issues:

  • An ineffective management style.
    My take: If you’re going to delegate, make sure you’ve got a good team. And don’t forget to question them and hold them accountable
  • Deferring to his generals.
    My take: For the important issues, listen for feedback from the front lines, not just your senior execs.
  • Not taking charge during Katrina.
    My take: When a crtitical issue hits, take charge and mobilize your best team ASAP.
  • Not reading enough history.
    My take: To borrow a quote: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
  • Refusing to settle the internal war within his administration.
    My take: Debate is good; backstabbing is unacceptable. If your team can’t work together, then someone needs to be let go.
  • Underestimating the power of explanation.
    My take: Making the right decision is only one piece of a solution; you need to “sell” it to employees and other constituents.

The bottom line: The US needs strong leadership; good luck Obama!

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

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