- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In all of President Obama’s politicking, there are some important leadership lessons to be learned, albeit ones derived from what not to do.

History shows us when respect is paid to opposing voices, we have created the most advanced economies, built upon the most successful businesses and the most effective governments. It occurs as naturally when employees are energized by working in an open environment that encourages debate of opposing positions before decisions are made. Why has this lesson been lost on so many leaders inside the Beltway? Why do so many leaders object to questions about their decisions or expressions of opposing points of view?

Leaders who can’t tolerate dissent end up producing suboptimal, half-baked outcomes similar to those produced in communist countries where opposing ideas were stamped out like a plague. Leaders who cannot work with others who oppose their views have no place in Washington. They ought to get to the root of their problem by looking in the mirror.

KATHLEEN BRUSH

Seattle