What type of emotional strategy befits an effective and wise leader? It seems obvious to note that effective leaders must transcend the simple rational or intellectual to empower followers. But getting emotional is important, very important.
Following your “moral sense” mirrors the “true lawgiver” approach, as described by Irish statesman and political theorist, Edmund Burke. Writing in the NYT, David Brooks explores the way this game was played on a recent and controversial issue:
Not long ago, readers would have been shocked to see how openly everyone now talks about maneuvering a 180-degree turn on a major civil rights issue. It would have been embarrassing to acknowledge that you were running your moral convictions through the political process, arranging stagecraft. People might have maneuvered on moral matters, but they weren’t so unabashed about it.
Today we’re all in on the game. The question is whether it is played well.