Special Report: LEADERSHIP: THE BIGGEST ISSUE

Ralph Nader was there, and so was the executive vice president of American Motors. The founder of Rolling Stone and the managing editor of the Washington Post took part, as did two of the most conservative newspaper columnists in the U.S. Gloria Steinem and the Knicks' Bill Bradley were there, and so were a former Heisman Trophy winner, a Nobel Laureate, a Navajo tribal leader, nine college presidents, 15 mayors and Governors, 14 Congressmen and Senators, and scores of businessmen, teachers, lawyers and economists. The occasion: a two-day conference held in Washington by TIME on the subject of leadership.

That...