In the rapidly changing 21st century, who are the real leaders?Former dean of Harvard Kennedy School, a living witness to American politics, Joseph Nye tells us all there is to know about leaders!
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What Makes a True Leader?
“Who is a True Leader?”
This is the question that Joseph Nye immersed himself in for his entire career.
When Joseph Nye began his political career during the Carter administration, he pondered over “how to get people to follow me,” and he realized that power is the ability to persuade others to achieve outcomes without the use of coercion or rewards, but with attraction. That’s when he coined the “soft power” concept, which he later developed into the “smart power” theory (soft power + hard power) as a policy stance, and “soft power” became a core policy for culture, economics, and diplomacy in the U.S.
Joseph Nye starts the lecture by proposing that we’ve misunderstood the notion of a “leader.” That is, we have elected leaders based on misconceptions and a narrow view that family backgrounds, men over women, and physical build are conducive to better abilities in a leader. Then what are the criteria for choosing a good leader? This is an opportunity to examine the 3 factors that determine a good leader and the changing ideal image of a leader in Lesson 1.
And how do we gain power? We earn power through threats, coercion, payments or inducements, or attraction, which is ‘soft power.’ Soft power is a significant way of earning power by attracting and persuading others to get what one wants. In lesson 2, Joseph Nye tells us the strategies and secrets to exerting effective leadership to acquire power.
Then is leadership an inherent skill? He says, “no.” Leadership can be attained through training and effort. In Lessons 3 and 4, we learn the power-acquiring means of soft power, hard power, and smart power.
However, on the rapidly changing 21st century global stage a leader's moral values in the international society are most crucial to national interest. But it is not easy to combine foreign policies and moral values, so, in Lessons 5 and 6, Joseph Nye tells us the criteria for assessing ethics and moral values and the attributes that allow a leader to become a global leader in the age of mutual cooperation.
In the rapidly changing 21st century, the entity of a “leader” is more crucial than ever. For those dreaming of becoming a leader or searching for a good leader, Joseph S. Nye Jr.’s “Who is a True Leader?” lecture series will provide definitive answers.
Joseph S. Nye
Dean of Harvard Kennedy School (1995-2005) Foreign Policy Committee Member for Barack Obama administration (2009) Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs for Bill Clinton administration (1994) Deputy Undersecretary of State for Jimmy Carter administration (1977)
Joseph S. Nye Jr. is an American political scientist. He served as Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School (1995-2005) which is a position renowned for nurturing leaders. He was also simultaneously a witness to the inner workings of the American government. He began his political career as Deputy Undersecretary of State for the Jimmy Carter administration (1977), then served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and Chair of the National Intelligence Council for the Bill Clinton administration (1994), and as a Foreign Policy Committee Member for the Barack Obama administration (2009). And he is currently serving as a Trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank for foreign policy studies.
Based on his experience in politics and academia, he coined the “soft power” concept, which is the ability to persuade others to achieve outcomes and gain political power without the use of force or coercion. Later on, “soft power” became a core policy for culture, economics, and diplomacy during the Clinton and Obama administrations. Joseph Nye was recognized for this and was ranked as “One of the Most Influential International-Relations Scholars” by Foreign Policy in 2014.
As a lifelong scholar of leadership, his question directed at us is simple: “Who is a True Leader?” Joseph S. Nye Jr.’s lectures are about the ways to find a leader, the skills of leadership, the ethics of leaders, the attributes of global leaders, and are full of clear yet insightful contents.
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