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Bill George

Harvard Business School Professor, former Medtronic CEO

This Week’s Leadership Kudos – and Gaffes

Leadership Kudos go to Pres Obama for the daring raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. This was courage at its finest, as the President waited patiently for just the right time, gathering a great deal of intelligence information in advance, and electing to keep the raid secret from the Pakistani ISI and military. Then he took the riskier option of sending in the Navy Seals instead of drones.
 
This event has temporarily reunited the nation and silenced Obama critics who say he is risk-averse and indecision. He followed the news with great communication of what happened. Now he should seize the opportunity to reunite the nation around rebuilding America’s position in the world through investing in the economy through the private sector.

 


 

Leadership Gaffe belongs to CUNY trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld, who rallied CUNY trustees to block Tony Kushner’s honorary degree because Kushner, who is Jewish, was critical of Israel. Kushner’s “Angels in America” was a breakthrough play about AIDS in America; he just opened “IHO,” his latest play, which was created at Minnesota’s Guthrie Theater, to rave reviews.

Since the news broke, not one NYC institution or person has supported that decision. Meanwhile, five other CUNY honorary degree recipients have told the university that they want to return their degrees, in solidarity with Kushner. Wisely, the CUNY trustees decided to rescind their decision. They appear to have convinced Kushner to accept the honorary degree after all. For his inappropriate attack on the nation’s leading playwright, Wiesenfeld should resign.