I thought this was a fantastic interview on EconTalk. David Deppner is a listener of the podcast that sent Russ a thought-provoking email question on the subject of leadership and what traits make for “good” qualities in a leader — whether a CEO, presidential candidate, or parent.
Anyone in a form of leadership role like this (which likely includes everyone in some context) struggles with this question. Do those you lead that look to you for guidance really want the truth? The truth is that no leader really has it all figured out. There’s a boatload of uncertainty everywhere. But certain people when looking to a CEO or politician for “leadership” aren’t really asking for raw honesty; they often want confidence and vision. This explains the phenomena of the politician making claims they can’t uphold, or the CEO that has pie-in-the-sky ideas about what their company will become, or the parent that tells white lies to their kids to protect them from a perhaps-complex reality.
All around a fascinating conversation. Props to Russ Roberts for always having interesting conversations no matter where the ideas come from.