Friday, March 31, 2006

Sharansky's leadership

I mentioned in a recent post I'd been reading The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, and it's helped consolidate some of my nascent political thinking (triple word score!).

On a completely different level, the author, Natan Sharansky, provides a great case study in personal diplomacy.

Here is someone writing about very current and relevant issues, and about very visible public people with whom he continues to have a working relationship. Those aren't easy waters to navigate, since if he comes across too critical of someone he might burn his bridges.

However, neither can he go soft on people with whom he disagrees. This book is a really good example of addressing ideas without attacking people. For instance, Sharansky describes former US president Bill Clinton is described as an excellent listener, even though he then criticises Clinton's handling of the peace process in the Middle East.

He does the same thing describing many of those he had direct dealings with, and I give him full credit for his grace and integrity. It's something we don't really see a lot of in public dialogue.

As you might be able to tell, I really enjoyed this book. I'll no doubt refer to it again on this blog, and possibly even do a proper book review over at Blogcritics.


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