10 Things America Wants in Its President in 2016

Why we should look for a leader who doesn't let the ends justify the means.

ByABC News
March 11, 2015, 6:03 PM
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— -- Another week in politics, and another view into the dysfunction and lack of real leadership that has become all too common in our country today. Makes a boy who grew up in the Midwest (granted it was Detroit) saying the pledge of allegiance each day at school wonder what has happened to the leaders we so desperately search for.

As I watched the unfolding of the Hillary Clinton email controversy where I felt like I was in a time machine back to the 1990s (no bridge to the 21st century, but rather a bunker to the 20th century), and GOP senators sending a wacky and unprecedented letter to Iran undermining the president's negotiating position, it got me thinking of the list of attributes or qualities we are looking for in our leaders and in our next president. And right now I have seen no candidate or potential candidate out there who has captured even half of them.

Here are my 10:

1. We hunger for a leader who is authentic. What does this mean? It means a leader whose thoughts, words and actions are in alignment with a set of genuine values. A leader who knows they don't have to be perfect, but desires perfection as a goal. A leader who puts country over party no matter the consequences, and who is genuine in their approach to all sides in reaching solutions.

2. It is time we had a leader again who retains the values of our incredible past of this country, but is forward-looking in what we want to accomplish. A leader who understands the Constitutional principles upon which this great nation was founded, but is setting an innovative vision ahead that moves us all to a better place. You can't find the promised land if you are looking backwards at some long-gone era and rereading the lines of a dusty document.

3. We want a leader who is not afraid to show their heart, to convey deep feelings on heartfelt concerns and to show a level of vulnerability. But we also want a leader who can hold strong and calm in a storm of data and information and desires. We want a leader who is intellectually curious, who looks for new solutions to problems and is not trapped in the mantra of the old ways. But also has a big enough heart to embrace Americans across segments and divisions.

4. We want a leader who doesn't just follow the letter of the law or the details of rules or what someone else did, but rather someone who wants to set a higher standard of behavior for themselves and our government as a whole. This could involve transparency, or openness or any type of communication. Let's have a leader setting a much higher goal for us as a government and a country than just the norm or status quo.

5. We hunger for a leader who understands they arrive with their own biases and prejudices and history and party, but who realizes the country is being torn apart by divisiveness. The incredible polarization that exists today needs to be acknowledged, and then dealt with. The biggest impediment to achieving a better life for all Americans is the political bickering and finger-pointing in D.C. It is time we have leaders that don't just talk the talk of unity, but walk the walk.