November 9 ~  Back Up Plan Jon Meacham books

"Always have a backup plan (or two)." ~ Jon Meacham, Parade Magazine, 10/19/08

American Lion

Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, writer of the Andrew Jackson biography American Lion (2008), said Jackson "created the modern Presidency" and "rewrote the script of American life."

In looking at leadership with an historical perspectives, Meacham recommended that our next U.S. President:

  • Find people who tell it like it is. (Look to independent advisors.)

  • Turn weaknesses into strengths.

  • Speak to the electorate. (More Letterman and Stewart visits.)

  • Keep church and state separate. ("Jackson felt... public life was complicated enough without turning political disputes into religious ones.")

  • Have a back up plan (or two). "Our new President should always have at least two cards to play in any given situation," Meacham said.

    Sound, cautionary advice for any leader. And with the notion of "having two cards to play," comes the idea that Time magazine reported in July 2008 that Barrack Obama was an avid poker player. So was FDR, Eisenhower, and Truman: Shuffle up, deal, and create your backup plans.

    Options are good.