Power is never constant. It waxes and wanes day by day as the world changes. Leaders learn to live with that, and it isn’t always easy. Here’s a quick look at how power rose and receded for leaders in the news over the past day or two:
–Donald Trump gained power as a new national poll showed him virtually tied with Hillary Clinton. In fact, it shows him with a two-point lead among likely voters – a major surprise after weeks of polls showing Clinton with a near-double-digit lead.
-Donald Trump lost power as he suffers from his feud with Ohio Governor John Kasich. You’ll recall that Trump and Kasich engaged in mutual snubbing over the summer, culminating in Kasich’s refusal to appear at the Republican National Convention in his home state. Analysts now seem to agree that this election will turn on the outcomes in four battleground states, of which Ohio is one (the others being Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida). Making an enemy of Ohio’s highly popular governor, whose state GOP organization could help Trump but won’t, was not a wise move.
–Mexican finance minister Luis Videgaray lost power after his daring suggestion of inviting Trump to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto last week proved disastrous. It enraged much of the Mexican public and divided Peña Nieto’s cabinet. Videgaray resigned yesterday.
-Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte lost power when he realized he should apologize for calling President Obama a son of a bitch. The comment was exactly the kind of outrageous insult his supporters love, but when Obama responded by canceling a scheduled meeting with him, he apparently pondered his position. While the U.S. needs the Philippines as an ally in countering China’s expanding influence in the Pacific, the Philippines really needs the U.S. as an ally. For Duterte, backing down is major blow to his image. BTW, the two of them met very briefly at a dinner last night; nothing of substance was discussed.
-Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro lost power as an angry, pot-clanging mob chased him down – and the video went viral. For months he’s been in a desperate fight for his political life – and maybe just his life – as the country’s suffering worsens. When the country sees him on the run from his own citizens, his opponents gain courage and confidence.
Most of the observations on such ups and downs are clichés – uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, etc. But they’re a useful reminder to anyone who thinks he or she wants to be a leader that this is a leader’s life, and it cannot be otherwise. Aspire to it if you dare.
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What We’re Reading Today
The 2016 Most Powerful Women
Fortune releases its annual ranking of the 50 Most Powerful Women in business today with GM CEO Mary Barra at No. 1. It’s her second year running atop the list; she led GM to record profits in 2015. The list features nine newcomers, including Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith. Fortune
Colin Powell email to Clinton released
The message to Hillary Clinton two days after she was sworn in as secretary of State discusses how to bypass federal record restrictions through use of personal email. Former secretary of state Powell also sent classified information via an AOL account, according to documents released by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. The disclosure complicates the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of a private server, since her predecessor behaved in some ways similarly. USA Today
Uber wins battle of class-action status
In a major victory for Travis Kalanick‘s company, a federal appeals court ruled that plaintiffs in a class-action suit involving Uber background checks must resolve their disputes individually through arbitration. The ruling could affect a separate class-action suit by 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts who argue Uber should have treated them as full-time employees instead of contractors. If the drivers can’t sue as a class, their leverage against the company is much reduced. SF Gate
Tesla grabs a $300-million credit line with Deutsche
The credit line will go towards Tesla’s lease program, reducing the company’s need for cash as the Model 3 rolls out. It’s part of a larger fund-raising effort by Elon Musk‘s company, which faces a money crunch as it releases the Model 3, finishes a battery factory, and closes the SolarCity deal. Reuters
Building a Better Leader
Do you want dominance or prestige?
Some leaders try to dominate employees, while prestige leaders get employees to like them. Strong leaders can switch from one to the other. Kellogg Insight
98% of employers plan to hand out raises in 2017
But as in the three previous years, average employees can expect slightly less than a 3% boost in pay. High-performing employees will garner a 4.6% raise on average. Fortune
Men and women ask for raises at the same rate…
…but men receive them more often. A new study finds that men who asked for a pay jump got it 20% of the time vs. 16% for women. NYT
The Candidates’ Q&A
The candidates appear on the same stage
For the first time this election season, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump walked onto the same stage at the “Commander-in-Chief” forum last night. Each fielded questions for 30 minutes. While they were told not to attack each other, that’s mostly what they did. They tried to position themselves as the leader who could handle national security best. Clinton said she has the experience, while Trump offered a plan to increase troop levels. CBS News
Donald praises Putin
Repeating his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said that “he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been.” Trump also cited Putin’s 82% approval rate, though he admitted he doesn’t endorse the Russian system in which Putin essentially controls the government. Fortune
Clinton defends herself against her emails
Clinton took many questions on her use of a private email server while secretary of state, reiterating that she had not sent any classified emails through the account if they were properly marked. Moderator Matt Lauer received criticism this morning for spending so much time on Clinton’s emails – nearly half the time allotted – while failing to question Trump as thoroughly. Washington Post
Up or Out
Matt Mills, a former Oracle executive, has been named CEO of MapR Technologies. Fortune
Fortune Reads and Videos
The big winner in the iPhone 7 announcement…
…was Nintendo. Investors and gamers are cheering Nintendo’s soon-to-be released Super Mario game, which will debut on the device. Fortune
Deloitte joins the employee benefit race
It will offer up to 16 weeks fully paid time off for men or women to care for a family member, including a new child. New mothers will get up to 6 months off if they add in short-term disability. Fortune
Steve Wozniak’s next all-electric car looks to be…
…the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Tesla Model S owner gave a big thumbs-up to the the GM vehicle on Facebook. Fortune
Toys ‘R’ Us lists the hot new toys for the holidays
It seems drones, coding toys, and Star Wars collectibles will fill shopping carts this year. Fortune
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders turns 75. Biography