Uncertain Times, Course Correction and Compromise

Article excerpt

This past summer's crazy temperature swings, storms and unpredictability have left many unsettled, literally and figuratively. But everything seems in a whirl of perpetual uncertainty these days: world markets are tumbling, healthcare reform-even in the wake of the June Supreme Court ruling- is teetering, job and financial security are hard to come by and the emotional barometer of the American people fluctuates, especially as the intensity of pre-election rhetoric continues to mount. In a few short months, post-election, the administration is likely to embark upon new leadership strategies and forge fresh directions that may bring back a bit of balance to the nation, and foster an atmosphere of collegiality and compromise.

Compromise: What Leaders Do

And as we head into November's presidential election, it is apropos that a portion of this Aging Today issue focuses on leadership and the core qualities of leaders-like the ability to compromise (as Ken Dychtwald writes on page 16, effective leaders should "be prepared to course correct .... This requires a willingness to ... adjust your orientation.")

With gracious assistance from Msgr. Charles Fahey (one of our most dedicated leaders in the aging arena, and a past ASA Board Chair), we procured a number of reflections on leadership, past and present, as it relates to the field of aging. ASA Board member Michael Hodin offers thoughts on global leadership; James Sykes outlines a model leadership program of citizen advocacy in Wisconsin; a conversation with past ASA Board Chair Robyn Golden yields insights on the "emotional intelligence quotient" of a good leader; and six graduates of ASA's new Leadership Academy and the longtime NVL program voice their perspectives on learning, leadership development and mentoring in the ever-shifting landscape of healthcare and aging. Mary Furlong also chimes in with how today's leaders can use the latest technology and social media outlets to acquire more knowledge- and share more influential thoughts and ideas.

Compromise-What ASA Will Not Do

Compromise, above, is used in the context of "making concessions" to reach resolution or agreement. …