My most recent book – Hard Times: Leadership in America – was published in October by Stanford University Press. The book explores the impact of context on leadership and followership. Beginning February 3, I started posting, in the order in which they appear, excerpts.
Except from Chapter 2 – Ideology
“It matters, matters a great deal, that the American ideology is about nothing so much as leaders and followers. It is about how leaders – particularly political leaders, but leaders more generally as well – should rightfully exercise power and authority. As important, it is about what followers, the American people, should rightfully claim as intrinsically and irrevocably theirs, for example, freedom. More precisely, the American ideology is about constraints on leaders and liberties for followers. Again, this does not mean that American theory is tantamount to American practice. What it does mean is that the American ideology on leadership and followership informed the American experiment at its inception – and informs it still.”