Quotes and aphorisms for leaders

Strategic Ambiguty

What you don’t know about where you are going is what oils the hinge to new life. Barbara Brown Taylor. In her review/blurb on the book jacket for I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist (2022).

“You are the leader; YOU diffuse the situation.” In other words, that is your role. Certainly not to ignite a situation; and not to become agitated and fan the flames. T. Moll 11/1/2021

Madeline Albright – “waffling words”

216. Using “indecisive, waffling” language can be a a way to support the leader by leaving the airspace for them to speak and be seen as the Lead Decision-Maker. Albright, 2020, Hell and other destinations, p.216, “my favorite waffle-words: complicated, delicate, difficult.”

Oriana Skylar Mastro – “Strategic Ambiguity”

Whatever Mr. Biden’s calculations, departing from the “strategic ambiguity” that has helped keep peace for decades misses the point. The main question for President Xi Jinping must be not whether the United States would join in, but whether China could beat the United States in a battle for Taiwan. Twenty years ago, China’s poorly trained army and largely obsolete naval and air forces had no chance. But that was then. Many will applaud Mr. Biden for standing up for democratic Taiwan in the face of Chinese threats. But he could be putting the island in greater danger, and the United States may not be able to come to the rescue. OPINION GUEST ESSAY, Biden Says We’ve Got Taiwan’s Back. But Do We?, May 27, 2022, New York Times

Thomas Paine – Common Sense

Time makes more converts than reason.

Thomas Paine

Fashion designer Esteban Sinisterra Paz, of Columbia, quoted in NYTimes article about Columbia’s first (2022) highest elected black woman official, VP Francis Marquez, under Columbia’s first leftist President, friendly to US, anti-establishment, anti-corruption, President Gustavo Petro. Esteban designs fashion for Marquez who embraces Afro-Columbian life as she came from poverty, was a house-keeper, lawyer, now VP. Paz seeks, “the elegance of identity.”

John Doe

“The way you change public opinion is by proving the incremental version of you ideas is workable, so that voters trust you more and more.” Sunday NY Times. Aug 7, 2022. Ross Douthat. The New Politics of Abortion. [Perhaps this is true for being a new leader at an org?]. …that requires addressing immediate anxieties head on….and it requires longer-term creativity….