As President Bush is coming to a close of his tenure in the Oval Office, he called together all the living president together with the president-elect Obama for lunch at the White House.
Regardless of your political persuasion, what President George W. Bush did yesterday was a powerful illustration of several leadership principles. In fact, it was more of a reflection of Obama’s leadership potential (the idea for this gathering was supposedly suggested by Obama and warmly concurred by Bush).
This historic moment gave Obama an opportunity to interact with all the former presidents who are still alive. It would have been difficult to bring all of them together like this, unless there was a funeral for one of the presidents or some other extraordinary event.
As they all lined up for the photo opt, President Bush said to Obama, “One message that I have, and I think we all share, is that we want you to succeed.” Wow!
Here are some things that I observed about this gathering:
2) It gave Obama an opportunity to get good counsel and advice on various matters, especially in light of the current conflict in the Middle East (each of the former presidents had to deal with the explosive situations in the Middle East). Good leaders always try to get perspective and counsel from other people – it makes them wiser and more effective.
3) It gave Obama an opportunity to honor the former Presidents. Good leaders always understand the importance of honor – giving honor where honor is due opens up the hearts of people.
4) It gave Obama an opportunity to build a good relationships with the former presidents. Good leaders always try to keep up the important relationships because they never know when they might have to call upon them.
5) It gave Obama an opportunity to harness the momentum that he has right now, as he is about to transition into the presidency. Good leaders always know when to maximize momentum and they also know how to transition well.
You can check out the BBC video and article here.