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Where are the Inspirational Leaders?

Last night, someone asked me who I thought was the best speaker alive today.


During my long, uncomfortable pause, he said any political candidates? Any CEOs?

Not only could I not think of a politician or CEO, all I could think about were the ones who used to be great, but we just don’t hear from them anymore…even President Obama, who talks everywhere these days, seems to have lost his luster…I think Candidate Obama inspired us to work together to make change and create a better world…President Obama seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on the defensive, practically whining about the details and the things that didn’t happen…where’s the vision for what could and should happen?

The Republican candidates make me cringe with Perry and his preacherman tenor, and Romney arguing with the hecklers in the crowd…Michelle Bachman stands out as someone who can hold her own…she’s measured and direct, but I still wouldn’t say she’s “inspirational.” Someone suggested that Hilary Clinton could fill the void…while she’s grown into an awesome speaker on international issues where she can deliver a pointed, direct message to a small audience…though, again, I’m not inspired…impressed, but not inspired…and I don’t think she can translate it back to the bigger stage where she must talk to all people about all things…we have no Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy that I can see.

Even the business guys – Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, Peter Drucker, Bill Gates – seem to be missing from the picture (except for Warren’s recent oped stating he thinks he needs to be taxed more, to which I replied, if you ‘d like to read it)…Steve Jobs announces way cool technology, but I wouldn’t say his speech is inspirational…his technology inspires his techie tribe (me included) to try new things, but he doesn’t talk big or inspire with global leadership.

Authors Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and others have inspirational messages in their writings…I’ve also had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Gladwell speak…entertaining and interesting, but still – no inspiration…

Our religious leaders, well there’s Joel Olsteen…he can be inspirational, but he’s not exactly in the national dialogue…where’s our Martin Luther King or even the Rev Jesse Jackson or  Oral Roberts…Billy Graham advised Presidents and corporate titans, but now we don’t see any big religious leaders with ecumenical teachings.

So where is it?

Heck…what is it?

I think what I’m looking for is someone to paint a rosier picture…a picture of what could be and what will be if we wait long enough or work hard enough…I’ve had my fill of scare tactics and low expectations.

Anyone out there know of a great inspirational speaker?

Maybe we can get him on YouTube 🙂

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