The value of subtlty communicating an opposing position without alienating the opposition is sorely under estimated. In this regard, Andy Card is priceless. How would you compare?
Earlier this week on The Daily Show, I saw Andy Card, President George W. Bush's former White House Chief of Staff and Jon Stewart play a variation of an old word-association, parlor game. It went something like this…
Jon Stewart: I’ll throw a characteristic out; you tell me the positive twist on it.
Andy Card: Okay
JS: Okay, I would see “Arrogance”. You would see?
AC: Quiet confidence
[Audience laughter; JS pauses to think]
JS: “Stubborn insistence on not accepting reality”.
AC: I would say, “The capacity to make a though decision without perfect knowledge”
[More audience laughter and clapping; JS take a little longer to pause and think]
JS: Will you be my chief of staff?
Jon Steward closed the segment by saying that Andy Card was the nicest person he had ever met that he didn’t want to like, but still he liked him.
Whether or not you see Andy Card as an enabling catalyst of the Manichean Paranoia described by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Andy Card is a brilliant virtuoso in the art of communicating an opposing position without alienating the opposition. Some might call this spinning the story, but I think there is something more powerful going on here.
What would you call it? Would your organization be better served by leaders who communicate this well? How effective would you be if you communicated this well?
Let me know what you think...
Take care and enjoy...