Sept. 17, 1787, is the date on which the United States Constitution was read and engrossed in final form at the constitutional convention. Benjamin Franklin, then 81 years old, was too frail to make a speech; but his written remarks were read aloud by his fellow-member of the Pennsylvania delegation, James Wilson. At the dawn of the 21st century, with Americans reflecting on first principles, Franklin’s guidance remains timely:
Once again, Watergate analogies are in the air. Though they may be overdrawn, there are important lessons that remain evergreen from a historic, catastrophic leadership breakdown at highest level. These lessons are as familiar as Shakespeare or the Bible—and as pertinent as ever in the new world of 21st century leadership.
One major change: the rapid denouement of the Nixon presidency—from electoral triumph to dissolution in less than two years—would be greatly accelerated in today’s Internet age.
Every day we experience changes in how people live and work, how they lead and manage and communicate.
It’s not self-regarding for current generations to recognize that some of the results are novel, even unprecedented.
Tom Friedman, in a stimulating op-ed, “One Country, Two Revolutions,” points to the historic social changes unleashed by Information Age technology. He acknowledges ongoing evolution in leadership, management, and communications.
Serve to Lead argues that fundamental change in leadership dynamics is well underway. Now, in our time of astonishing potential for individual empowerment, Everyone Can Lead–Because–Everyone Can Serve.