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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Transcript

Question: What makes a great leader?

Armitage:    I think there are three things.  First of all to be a great leader you have to have vision.  And following vision you have to have execution.  And following execution you have to have accountability.  If you lack all three, or any of the three, you cannot be a confident leader.

Question: Who are today’s great leaders?

Armitage:    Well I think first of all, there’s no question that Colin L. Powell is the most noteworthy leader with whom I’ve ever dealt and ever worked.  I’ve known a number of good leaders in the Department of State recently.  One by the name of Elizabeth __________; Marc Grossman, our Undersecretary.  These are folks that have a vision.  They also have the ability to execute and then to hold people accountable.  And I think through it all, a good leader has to have some element of compassion, and those folks certainly do.

    There are younger members on Capitol Hill that look as if they will be good leaders at some time.  I think they’re a little young.  Some of them are a little young at present, but I have hope that we’ll be growing some of these fellows.  You’ve seen a John Edwards who is not of my political party, but he’s a young, pretty well intentioned, dynamic fellow.

 

What makes a great leader?

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