Discuss

  1. What key points do they make about leadership?
     

  2. Do you agree that these aspects are important for good leadership? Why or why not?
     

  3. How are their reflections on leadership similar to the presidents’? How are they different?
     

  4. Think of all the comments you’ve heard from the presidents and congresspeople. Would you categorize their reflections on leadership as relating mostly to traits, abilities, skills, behaviors, or relationships? 

Introduction

You previously watched a video of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sharing their thoughts on leadership. As president, they were at the top of the Executive Branch, and their job—like the job of all leaders—was to bring people together to accomplish a task.
 

But not all organizations are as hierarchical as the Executive Branch. Even within the U.S. government, there are other parts, like Congress, that work quite differently. Congresspeople are still political leaders, but unlike presidents they have many peers and are part of a very “flat” organization. No one in Congress can fire anyone else, give orders to anyone else, or tell anyone else how to vote. In some ways, U.S. society at large is a lot more similar to Congress.
 

How might leadership be different in “flat” contexts versus hierarchical contexts? Watch the video above to hear congresspeople’s thoughts on leadership, then debrief by answering the questions below.
 

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Next Up:

DISCUSSION: LEADERSHIP & U.S. SOCIETY

ACTIVITY

Reflect on the role and value of effective leadership in U.S. government and U.S. society at large.

WHAT YOU WANT IN A LEADER: STUDENT PERSPECTIVES

WATCH

Watch young Americans talk about leadership.

REFLECTING ON LEADERSHIP

ASSIGNMENT

Reflect on leaders you know and your own leadership experiences.

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