Presidential Leadership: The Balance of Power with John Dickerson

This week on the World Reimagined podcast, host Gautam Mukunda sits down with John Dickerson, taking a look at leadership through a Presidential lens. Dickerson shares his take on the challenges facing the oval office, and what characteristics make one successful at leading from it.

To lead is to exercise power. And to do it well, one must have expertise and character. Perhaps no one understands this better than the President of the United States of America. What can we learn from the Presidency about how to use power – and when?In this episode, Host Gautam Mukunda speaks with John Dickerson, Chief Political Analyst at CBS news, about what it takes to wield the power of the Presidency. John has reported on the presidency for over 30 years. He has reported for Slate, Time Magazine, and CBS news. His most recent book, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency is a New York Times Bestseller.

People require having been tested in their lives so that when they get the keys to the fancy car of the presidency they have some familiarity with what it’s like to deal with serious things and be on the spot or else they’re going to make decisions and have reactions that are going to be unsorted and disorganized.

John Dickerson

I think the overwhelming evidence of both history and just human behavior suggests that those who’ve been successful — whether it’s surviving the marshmallow test or any other use of willpower — to restrain yourself is an important quality.

John Dickerson

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Books Referenced on World Reimagined Season 2, Episode 3:

The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency, by John Dickerson

Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business, by Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro

Taming the Prince, by Harvey C. Mansfield Jr.

Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter, by Gautam Mukunda

Guest Information for Presidential Leadership:

John Dickerson is CBS News Chief Political Analyst, Senior National Correspondent, and CBS Sunday Morning Contributor. He recently published his third book, and second New York Times Best-Seller, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency. Dickerson was previously co-anchor of CBS This Morning. From 2015 to 2018 he was the anchor of “Face The Nation,” and CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent. Dickerson is also a contributing writer to The Atlantic and co-host of Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast and host of the Whistlestop podcast.

Dickerson started his career with Time magazine, covering economics, Congress, and the presidency. In the last four years of his twelve at the magazine, he was its White House correspondent. From 2005 to 2015, he was Slate magazine’s chief political correspondent. He has covered the last seven presidential campaigns.

A native Washingtonian, Dickerson graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a specialty in American Studies. His mother, Nancy Dickerson, was CBS News’ first female correspondent. Dickerson is the author of On Her Trail (Simon and Schuster), a book about his mother. He is also the author of the New York Times best-seller Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History (Twelve Books). He is the recipient of the Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and the David Broder award for political reporting.