This morning while watching the news (or at least what passes for news), Texas Governor Rick Perry has come out swinging in his bid for the Presidential election. Calling into question President Obama's and Fed Chairman Bernanke's patriotism because they never served in the military. While I realize that serving your country is a huge part of the American identity, I think Perry is missing something very important.
Military men don't necessarily make great leaders. Granted they have been trained to be many things, one of which is a leader, but, that doesn't mean that they will be the right leader for the situation.
Leadership is not always a skill set that can be taught. Sometimes it relies on something akin to intuition. It's not black and white. There are shades of context and meaning in everything. A good leader is one that is willing to learn from situations and people, regardless of rank, that can admit fault graciously without excuses and moves to fix it without whining or BS. These are not leadership skills that have been taught...they are character traits. Aside from this, when you participate in any type of verbal attack on someone, you show your character much more than you show the person's you are attacking.
I don't know who I will vote for in the 2012 election, but I assure you that I will ponder the behavior of all candidates seriously. They say it's not how you treat your peers that is telling of your character, it's how you treat those who have less than that does.