Exploring Human Potential

David Brooks: Remarkable Essay on Positive vs. Negative Leadership.

Posted on | June 3, 2017 | 7 Comments

Mike Magee

For over three decades, I’ve been following and contributing to the literature on leadership – most specifically on the traits that separate positive leaders from negative leaders. This past week, David Brooks wrote an editorial in the New York Times focused on Donald Trump’s leadership, and reacting to a Wall Street Journal editorial by Trump cabinet members H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, that is truly remarkable.

It reflects everything I believe in, and creates a much needed sense of hope that goodness will prevail. Here are a few of his words, presented in the hope that they will encourage you to read his remarkable essay:

“the Trump project…asserts that selfishness is the sole driver of human affairs. It grows out of a worldview that life is a competitive struggle for gain. It implies that cooperative communities are hypocritical covers for the selfish jockeying underneath…In this worldview, morality has nothing to do with anything. Altruism, trust, cooperation and virtue are unaffordable luxuries in the struggle of all against all. Everything is about self-interest.”

“The error is that it misunderstands what drives human action. Of course people are driven by selfish motivations — for individual status, wealth and power. But they are also motivated by another set of drives — for solidarity, love and moral fulfillment — that are equally and sometimes more powerful.”

Take a moment now to read David Brook’s “Donald Trump Poisons The World”.


7 Responses to “David Brooks: Remarkable Essay on Positive vs. Negative Leadership.”

  1. Janice Mancuso
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 10:38 am

    Mike, I just finished reading David Brooks’s (brilliant) essay and was composing a comment to implore everyone to read it when I read your post. I will share this on Facebook, instead. Thanks for saving me time!

    PS While reading DB’s piece, I thought of the firefighters who ran into the World Trade Center towers on Sept 11, 2001. They (still and will always) represent the best of who we are.

  2. Susan Pellerin
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 12:27 pm

    Thank goodness for people who still believe in the human heart of goodness.

  3. Mike Magee
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 12:32 pm

    I agree, Susan!

  4. Mike Magee
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 12:33 pm

    Thanks, Janice. I couldn’t agree with you more!

  5. gary
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:39 pm

    Your article is not truth. It is editorialized wordy preconceived opinion justified by several
    seemingly wise sounding cliches.

    Essentially you wish to combine two kingdoms
    that are eternally divided. The kingdoms of this world and that of the eternal truth. They do not mix.
    You blithley drag Trump into your possibly sincere but misguided definitions of reality
    then even worse try to gain converts to your
    perverse concepts of “How it is”.
    Examine your own “self centered” objectives in
    creating this piece and then you may see more
    clearly that your original “point of view”
    lacks integrity.
    Rinse out the bias and do a re write.

  6. Mike Magee
    June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:57 pm

    Not sure whether you are talking to me or to David Brooks. In any case, you seem to have a lot of anger. What is the source of that?

  7. Doctor Moebius
    June 5th, 2017 @ 8:22 am

    Sadly, at 56, I Have now realized that the majority of humans do seem to want to lie to themselves so much that the world of materialism is all they seek. Let them have it, and let the meek inherit the Earth. These wealthy materialist/ satanic Bilderberger assholes, well, let ’em choke on it. The rest of us will sing and dance and make love – the important things living requires.

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