Reader's Guide to

Culture Leads Leaders Follow

The poet, Dana Gioia, suggests we are all following a downhill path and are often surprised by where we are and how we arrived. Dana’s poem on page 21 of Culture Leads Leaders Follow is a good starting point in beginning a conversation.

Here are some discussion questions:

1. Each of us encounters dozens if not hundreds of stories each day through advertising, news and entertainment. How influential are these stories in our lives–for the better or worse? Do we have any ability to influence the messages?

2. My Mom and Dad began their parenting by insisting and then suggesting and finally cautioning. Is the family losing its preeminent role of influence in children’s lives? Is there any way government can create effective institutions that can serve as surrogate parents?

3. Does society need spiritual stabilizers? If stabilizers become stronger, how will that likely have occurred?

4. Mass shootings have become regular events. Are these shootings primarily a result of individual mental illness? Does our culture play a role? If so, what are the cultural forces and is it possible to reverse their influence?

5. Polls unequivocally reflect distrust or worse in the institutions of government. In today’s money and poll centric political culture is it possible to affect and sustain favorable government?

6. If more trusted leadership emerges, what would be the contributing circumstances?

7. Sixty-five years ago America elected a President who had never held elected office–Dwight Eisenhower. Many seem ready to elect another one–Donald Tump. What developments led to Trump’s rise?

8. What is the relationship between the size of government and the potential of a trusting citizenry?

9. Do leaders shape the culture or are they more likely to be shaped by it? What examples of leaders re-shaping cultural forces come to mind?

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