Only Leadership Talks Can Save George Bush's Presidency, Says Leadership Expert

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The convergence of American disapproval with the war in Iraq with the devastation caused by Katrina is setting up a perfect storm of events that might result in sweeping public condemnation of his presidency. He can turn it around only by giving Leadership Talks.

George W. Bush is facing the greatest crisis of his presidency, and only one thing can have him successfully meet the challenges of this crisis, the Leadership Talk – according to leadership expert, Brent Filson.

Filson says, "The convergence of American disapproval with the war in Iraq with the devastation caused by Katrina is setting up a perfect storm of events that might result in sweeping public condemnation of his presidency. Of course, Bush had nothing to do with Katrina; but if the public believes that both preventive steps and after-storm responses were lacking due to the diversion of money, manpower, and equipment to Iraq, then Bush might have his approval ratings hit rock bottom and remain there throughout the remainder of his term."

Filson, who has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 21 years, asserts that there is only one way he can turn his presidency around, that's the frequent use of Leadership Talks.

"It may seem frivolous to apply this concept to an American presidency, but when one really understands what the Leadership Talk is all about, you'll see why the heartwood of all great leadership is the Leadership Talk. Look at it this way, the vast majority of leaders I've encountered are repeatedly doing one thing that screws up their jobs and careers. They're giving presentations and speeches, not Leadership Talks! Bush's televised message right after Katrina hit was a presentation, not a Leadership Talk. He was simply delivering a lot of facts and not making that deep, human emotional connection with the American people, which he would have done if he had given a Leadership Talk. And when he came to the scene of such utter devastation and misery and anguish pleas for help and chuckled about his wild days in New Orleans, do you think he was giving a Leadership Talk?"

In defining the Leadership Talk, Filson says there is a hierarchy of verbal persuasion when it comes to leadership. "The lowest levels are speeches and presentations, which primarily communicate information. The highest and most effective level is the Leadership Talk. The Leadership Talk does something much more than simply get information across; it has the leader establish a deep, human, emotional connection with the audience. It's in the realm of that connection leaders get the best results.

Filson concludes, "With America in a crisis, the public is hungry for leadership, for the kind of leadership that resonates with their deeply held needs. But if the leadership does not resonate, the backlash will be profound. The Leadership Talk is not some spinmeister puff. It's the very foundation of great leadership. Throughout history, whenever people needed to do great things, one thing had to take place, a leader had to go to the people and speak from the heart. George W. Bush has to go to the people and give Leadership Talks. He has got to share his heartfelt vision for nation in a heartfelt way. He has to motivate them to make shared sacrifices. He did that after 9/11. Remember his standing in the rubble, with a bullhorn and the firefighters and he saying, '... the world will hear from you!' Clearly, he can do again."

Filson says that the president may get a temporary bump in the polls, as presidents invariably do after the country enters a crisis. "However, if most people feel he's disconnected from them, if he can't communicate a connection, if he can't give Leadership Talks, if he's out there simply giving presentations, his ratings will eventually plummet to record lows and he'll find himself a lame duck president in the worst sense."

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson first learned about leadership as a Marine Corps rifle platoon commander. For the past 20 years, as a civilian, he has helped thousands of leaders in major companies worldwide achieve sizable and continual increases in results. He has published many books and hundreds of articles on leadership, developed motivational leadership strategies and created and instituted leadership educational and training programs. He has lectured at Columbia University, M.I.T., Wake Forest, Villanova and many other universities. Recently, he has conducted more than 125 radio interviews dealing with the Leadership Talk.

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