Bridging The Gap- President George W. Bush Leadership, 2001–2009 (September 11, 2001 — Terrorist Attacks)

Fun Fact about President George W. Bush: Prior to becoming the 43rd President, he ran and finished a marathon in Houston, Texas.

Welcome everyone! In the last story, we were able to glean from President Obama’s leadership. We were given an inside view on how he demonstrated his care and consideration for the office of the United States (US) President. We got the sense that though he had a bird’s eye view of America, he inclined his ear to hear the loud cry of the 50 million American people who wanted holistic healthcare but could not afford it. He knew that hearing them and doing nothing was a disservice, so he and his team initiated and drove healthcare reform to change the landscape and satisfy their overwhelming demand. Henceforth, the Affordable Care Act was born and for the first time in years, all Americans could afford insurance to improve their health and way of life.

Now, back to President George W. Bush. Like the other presidents, he and his administration were confronted with a variety of challenges that impacted America. The demand on his leadership was great and needed to be ready to address any pressing issue or threat. Unbeknownst to him, Democracy and America’s soil would be under attack on September 11, 2001. An Al Qaeda Terrorist Group strategically executed a plan to attack the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, and the US Capitol-possibly the White House in Washington DC. Terrorists loaded four planes like normal passengers with the intent to hijack them to carry out their assignments. Three of them were successful, as the planes crashed into the Twin Towers and Pentagon, causing tremendous damage and fatalities to occupants inside and outside the buildings. The terrorists in the fourth plane heading towards the US Capitol were impeded, as passengers heroically disrupted their efforts, resulting in the plane crashing in Pennsylvania — 250 miles west of Washington DC. Unfortunately, 3000 people died on this day (Pause). Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Friends, and so many more were taken from loved ones by evil. It was a sad day and words could not express what transpired. Who would think this would happen in America?

After President Bush’s physical position was safe and secured, he quickly mobilized his team to isolate and contain the problem in the affected places and possible other strategic areas. He grounded commercial airlines just in case other hijacks were planned. He armed the confidence of the American people to make sure they understood that America was hurt by the attacks, but not defeated. His messaging was clear and concise, as he shared his intentions to expose and defeat terrorism. To make this happen, he commissioned a War Cabinet comprised of key members from a variety Federal Agencies. In a nutshell, their marching order was to find, make recommendations to the President, and neutralize the source of the 911 attacks.

The compiled intelligence pointed at Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the militant Islamic terrorist organization, as being the source of the attacks. The reports showed he established Al Qaeda terrorists training camps under the support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Armed with this information, President Bush sent troops to this region to defeat them. While there, the US military and Coalition Forces exploited the vulnerabilities of the enemy, via air strikes, ground troop fire power, and so much more. This calculated effort reaped good benefits, as the country was stabilized and helped the Afghans to be free. Furthermore, key military insertions continued in this region as the US and Coalition Forces would capture Al Qaeda key leaders and remove them from any more terroristic missions. These were strategic wins that improved the military’s position to eliminate or even reduce Osama Bin Laden’s terroristic leverage and eventually find and bring him to justice for his crimes.

Per the four leadership attributes for this Project, I rated President Bush, accordingly, as shown in the table. This was a tough and emotional time. His leadership and character were present and poised to respond swiftly to manage the aftermath and protect America against any more terroristic attacks. From my view, he did not cave-in or lose his head. He and his War Cabinet’s approach were balanced, intentional, and fierce. They did what had to be done.

Kudos to President Bush and his War Cabinet! They established a strong leadership and tactical front that sent a new message to terrorist groups around the world. If they thought that the 911 attacks defeated America or diminished our democratic way of life, they need to check their thinking. We are America Tough! We will learn and bridge our structural and security gaps, so that anomalies stick out for quicker recognition, inspection, and repair.

As customary in my stories, take an inventory of your leadership toolbelt and assess your position on the four attributes. Add them if they are missing; Adjust them if they are unhealthy; Sustain them if they are solid; and Improve them to continue to grow. Your Team; Your Constituents; Your Customer; and Your Family need you to stay engaged.

This concludes my stories about the Leadership and Four Leader Attributes of the first and last three United States Presidents in solving and or reducing problems facing America. I hope you enjoyed the journey with me and made the right changes to your leadership toolbelts. By now, I hope you see that no matter where you are on the scale or organization chart, you are no less than a President. Like them, People need you to lead, Problems need you to solve them, and Customers/Constituents need you to care for them.

[1] · The White House Historical Association. “George W. Bush”. The White House Historical Association.org Website, 16 January 2019, George W. Bush

[2] · Runner’s World. “Report Likely Overstates George W. Bush’s Running Prowess”. Runnersworld.com Website, Megan Hetzel, 2 October 2014, George W. Bush and Marathon

[3] History. “September 11 Attacks”. History.com Website, History.com Editors, 11 September 2020, September 11, 2001 Attacks

[4] · News. “9/11 mystery: What was Flight 93’s target?”. Nbcnews.com Website, David Shuster, 11 September 2006, The fourth plane — 911

[5] · UVA Miller Center. “George Bush: Foreign Affairs”. Millcenter.org Website, Gary L Gregg II, George W Bush and Foreign Affairs

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Keeper: Life’s Value Streams; Author: Position2—-Win; Coach: KOG; Veteran