Is the US President the right leader for these times?
October 13, 2014
His hair is greyer than it used to be and it appears the world continues to lurch from one crisis to another. Reagan had the cold war, Bush Senior had the first gulf war, Clinton had the Balkans and Bush Junior had 9/11. Along the way there has been recession and recovery, economic recovery and collapse, regional conflicts and now it seems history is repeating. (note: a conversation on the US economy and leadership is happening HERE right now)
President Obama, like Presidents before him, is confronting a cross section of domestic and international events that, if converged, create a perfect storm for any sitting leader. At home it is taking longer than expected for the economy to recover but it is on the up. US unemployment is down below 6% in September and there has been a slight pick-up in wage growth but this at a time when the IMF is now warning about global growth and the challenges facing economies such as Germany and even Australia. Health reform has continued to be tested and issues around climate change and the environment, energy security and accusations that authorities have been spying on there own citizens are not easy to deal with.
On the International front the rising conflict in the Middle East coupled with Russia trying to reassert itself on its borders with Europe would be challenge enough - but then throw in the potential for a global pandemic thanks to Ebola and an unstable global economy you have more than a few issues to deal with and at any time one of them could spiral out of control.
There has been some criticism of President Obama over the last few years from those who say that he hasn't gone far enough when it comes to climate change to the more recent conflict in Iraq with ISL / ISIS and the spying scandal that appears to be having the NSA swimming against the tide of public opinion.
That begs the question - is President Obama the leader the times require or need? After all every President since the beginning of the eighties have had just the same fair share of domestic and international challenges -albeit in degrees - and history has taught us that often issues are cyclical and of the times.
What do you think? and (keeping it professional!) if you had the opportunity in one sentence to send the President a solution of how one or other of these challenges could be fixed - what would it be?
You can also join the conversation we are having on the US economy and leadership HERE - all comments welcome - just keep them measured!
About the author: Matthew Tukaki is the co-founder of both the Sustain Group an EntreHub. He is Chairman of Deakin University CSaRO and Director of the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia. Between 2010 - 13 he represented Australian business and industry at the United Nations Global Compact and was appointed to the UNGC's governing board in May of 2013 by the UN Secretary General. He is the former head of Drake International and Dattach Samsung SDS.
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