I had hoped that President Obama would have read my words from last week by now. Clearly, he has not. In the wake of the never-ending tale of Gates-gate woe, our President is in obvious need of a leadership coach. While I am very busy at present, for the sake of my nation, I will offer a helping hand.
Last week, I shared a leadership lesson from my prior life with the simple insight that the President of the United States would benefit from learning it. At the age of 22, in my first job out of college, I received careful training from wise leaders in the firm in a simple phrase: “I don't know.” My coaches taught me to use that phrase whenever I did not know the answer. I learned to use that phrase in order to communicate confidence in what I did know and wisdom to be clear on the things I did not know. Most importantly, those less-traveled words (I don't know) protected our firm's reputation from damage done by careless remarks or half-thought statements.
As the ongoing saga painfully continues, President Obama now needs even more leadership coaching. He first could have avoided the whole mess, and the larger mess that he has created by commenting foolishly, if he simply had uttered the phrase, “I don't know.” He did not. Now he needs to discover that when one fails to use, “I don't know,” he soon needs to apply the next three important words, “I am sorry.”
Mr. President, please just apologize and end this embarrassment now. For all of our sakes. Please. Enough.
Now that we have been subjected to Obama's self-admittedly baseless comments about police officers' “stupid” actions, his pedantic reminders of racial divides in this country, and the earth-shaking results of his new diplomatic device, “The Beer Summit,” Mr. Obama owes us all an apology. His poor leadership has gotten out of hand. Either that, or his hubris is showing.
First, he could have easily navigated this non-event of Professor Gates and Officer Crowley by replying with the accurate statement, “I don't know,” when originally asked by Lynn Sweet about the incident. That is the proper response of good leaders when they in fact do not know the answer. That is also the proper response for the leader of the free world whose primary job is to cast the vision for the United States rather than squandering time and energy adjudicating misunderstandings among individuals in Massachusetts.