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These 30 Seconds Offer John McCain’s Most Poignant Lesson in Leadership

How many leaders would have said or done this?

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 27 Aug 2018

These 30 Seconds Offer John McCain's Most Poignant Lesson in Leadership

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

The eulogies have begun.

Politicians have offered their teary remembrances, while simultaneously themselves being as duplicitous and venal as ever in their daily working lives.

Republican stalwart John McCain is dead and the essentially good are one less in the world.

Many examples of his leadership have been offered in tribute.

Here's one of the quietest, but one of the most powerful.

It was August 27 2008.

Barack Obama had just been nominated to be the Democratic candidate for president.

McCain could have ignored it.

He could have immediately launched an attack ad. Or ten.

After all, America hadn't previously been close to electing a black man for the highest office.

This was history.

One or two supposedly wise, competitive heads might have considered a pursing of the lips to emit a dog-whistle or two in response.

Instead, McCain ran this ad.

He described Obama's nomination as "a good day for America."

He explained that sometimes it's worth stopping to recognize the achievements of opponents.

He congratulated him.

It was a peculiar act of decency.

A peculiar act of leadership, too.

Sometimes, others win. Sometimes it's worth seeing the value in their arguments, their achivements and in their very selves.

And sometimes it's worth according respect to those who you know deserve it, but might not get it from others.

Sentiments such as McCain's have been lost lately. Both in politics and in business.

Opponents are to be crushed by any means. Personal goals are to be pursued at all costs.

It's remarkable how Mark Zuckerberg's notion of moving fast and breaking things is reflected in Donald Trump's approach to the presidency.

It really is the power motto of our times.

John McCain showed that basic decency does have its value.

Perhaps its time will come again.

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