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    Ludmila Matiash
    :   2002-11-08 16:07:46

    Within the context of the Vision Project, this selection is a good example of effective "Vision Management." Interestingly, we never see the word "Vision" in this address by an American president to the American people. The objective was to rally the nation to exit out of economic crisis. FDR suggested that there was also a "moral" crisis. This gave his Inaugural Address an emotional "tension," the signature of many effective leaders.

    Even though the cultural and historical settings of this period in American heritage are unique, some principles of public engagement are well applied in this speech. FDR does the following:

    1. Recognizes the people as critical stakeholders of the nation.
    2. Invites the stakeholders to open public dialogue.
    3. Defines the problem and limits its scope.
    4. Identifies the specific cause of the problem.
    5. Identifies priorities and first steps.
    6. Proposes an approach.
    7. Defines guiding principles.
    8. Creates a "moral contract" with the nation.
    9. Calls for return to the founding principles (to the Constitution).
    10. Accepts legal, moral, and personal responsibility.
    11. Takes personal risk (agrees to challenge the government if needed).
    12. Calls on a Higher Authority to morally sanction the effort.

    Perhaps most meaningful is the President's call for a return to the founding principles of the American Constitution. In this way he reminds the people that the foundation for exit out of crisis already exists within the nation. A continuous reapplication of these principles is what rallies American communities in times of crisis.

    Finally, as with all tools, their value is in their application. Visions, in the hands of leaders, are especially powerful tools. The world has seen many examples of Visions being misused towards sad ends. When Visions clash the results are often tragic. If we believe in the "free will" of Frankl, then perhaps the use of a Vision is the most critical decision any leader and any human being can make.


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