Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Woodward Lecture at MCLA

Tonight, a friend and I went to hear Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, speak at MCLA (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) in North Adams. (That's an old photo of Bernstein and Woodward at The Washington Post back in 1976 - love the hair and neckties!).

Tonight's lecture was a kickoff of the college's new Political Science major and Woodward delivered the first official Public Policy Lecture for the program. Interestingly enough, I learned that he has authored or co-authored more #1 best selling non-fiction books than any other contemporary American writer! I think it was really a feather in MCLA's cap to have a speaker of such stature and capability come to lecture.

The Church Street Center was filled to capacity and Woodward did not disappoint! (Is it just me, or does he have a striking similarity to George Segal?) As I listened to him talk, several thoughts flowed through my mind:
  • Wow - why isn't he hosting a Sunday morning political talk show, like "This Week" or "Face the Nation"? He certainly knows all the players (and then some!), he has the intellect and perception to ask the pointed questions, and the personal presence to come accross well on TV.
  • Wow - his keen awareness of the people, the politics, and what's going on with our country really inspired me to keep myself in the know a little better.
  • Wow - I'd like to take a page or two from his book (I mean his MANY books!) and challenge my own writing to include topics of greater importance.

I also liked hearing Woodward talk about Katharine Graham and her leadership of The Post. He said that she had what he considered the best management style one could have - Mind On, Hands Off. This is definitely something to aspire to as a manager myself.

Overall, what a terrific event; my mind was stretched, I was personally inspired, and feel motivated to think and write about more challenging topics than I currently do.

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