LEADERSHIP: The Real Points of Light

Its charter fading, its goals diverging, the nation needs to redefine what leadership means

The story of American leadership -- and its status now -- owes something to the sagas of great American families. Read the classic plot as an allegory:

A founding giant -- visionary, ruthless perhaps -- establishes the fortune. His sons try to consolidate it. As the generations follow one another, the founder's energy dissipates, like gases flung out from a star. Heirs proliferate. They squabble. Trust funds thin out. Distant cousins go for one another's throats. By the fourth or fifth generation, they are turning up with guilt complexes about the family name and about the founder's long-ago crimes of piracy....

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