Wisdom From a Former President/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on January 1, 2018


Jon Meacham, an historian and author, wrote a piece for the NY Times on December 29. 2017. His contribution was entitled: “Donald Trump and the Limits of the Reality TV Presidency”. Mr. Meacham quotes President Eisenhower about leadership style: “You do not lead by hitting people over the head. Any damn fool can do that, but it’s usually called ‘assault’ — not ‘leadership.’…I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion, and conciliation, and education, and patience. It’s long, slow, tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know, or believe in, or will practice.”

In the mediation process the parties hopefully learn how to adopt a more conciliatory and positive approach to resolving their dispute. How is this done. President Eisenhower laid it out for us. It is done by persuasion, conciliation, and patience. It is a slow process but one that holds much promise for success. It is most definitely not done by confrontation and playing the game of “I gotcha”. Win-Win is not easily attained but this is where patience comes in as a handy trait. One of our greatest generals and political minds has taught us how mediation can be successful; be soft on the people and tough on the problem. Mediate don’t litigate.