Leading a nation requires physical and mental fitness in order to be able to handle the fast pace and stress of daily routine and be ready to recognize and cope with emergency situations.

     The guidance provided by the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that a President may be removed from office due to their being "unable to discharge the powers and duties"  of the office, however a specific description or requirements for being fit enough to fulfill the duties and discharge the powers of the President's office is not included.  

     A psychiatrist reviewed a variety of sources and found some guidance for evaluating leadership skills in a field manual written for a division of the U.S. military.

  • Read more: "Is Trump mentally fit to be president?  Let's consult the U.S. Army's field manual on leadership,"  by Prudence L. Gourguechon,   (L.A.Times, June 16, 2017).
  • The U.S. Army’s “Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development" is approved for public release with unlimited distribution. It is 188 pages and includes guidance for training exercises to help improve skills the army considers helpful for leaders and indicators for assessing leadership potential and current skills.
  • Areas to develop included in the field manual are also discussed here: 25th Amendment, and Fit for Duty.  
  • Areas to develop include leading others, building trust, extending influence beyond the immediate chain of command, leading by example, communicating well, creating a positive environment and cheerful mood among the team, preparing oneself, developing others, stewarding the profession, and getting results.  


Skills or traits which the Army considers requirements for leadership are grouped into attributes and competencies in a model, Figure 1-1.

     Attributes to develop in a leader include character, presence, and intellect and competencies include leads, develops, and achieves.


The U.S. Army field manual (FM 6-22) on Leader Development includes material and jargon that wouldn't directly apply to workers in a business setting however much of the guidance may be helpful for anyone interested in assessing and developing their own and their team's skills in leadership and effectiveness at working together.  Table 1-2 from the field manual lists ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a team:

20 Science Questions

that U.S. presidential candidates were asked in 2016

Disclaimer: this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. 


Disclaimer: this information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. 

​​​To lead, one must first learn how to follow -- how to follow the common sense advice from parents and teachers and other leaders,  but then we also have to learn when to ignore the group and follow our own common sense -- what is working today, here and now, in this current environment for us?

     The common sense from previous times might not work as effectively in the modern situation. Recognizing that change has occurred and adapting to the new circumstances is part of being an effective leader. Adjusting a plan as needed is included in the competency skill termed Achieves

      An additional book might be helpful for leaders working directly or indirectly with politics. The book is older but has been republished twice with additional chapters and opening statement by the author. The work is a review and discussion of the differences between conservative and liberal voters, leaders, and political parties. It seems to be a wake up call that is still ringing. 

     The word 'moral' may be inflammatory for some readers. "Core values" would be another way to phrase the concept that we have underlying beliefs, learned in childhood, which guide our choices without our always being consciously aware that there was a preference or a choice being made. Or we might be aware that there is a choice between good and bad but our definition of which is good and which is bad might not match someone else's because the underlying core values that each is basing their choice don't match.

     In the book Moral Politics the author substitutes terms of his own for concepts developed in the study of attachment parenting. The original academic terms are somewhat neutral while less neutral terms are used as substitutes in the book. Two attachment partenting styles are focused on while the original research found several other styles. A blend of styles is mentioned as being possible and likely however.

     An underlying premise in the book is the idea that one can rationally choose between conservative or liberal viewpoints and attachment styles, however work in the physical study of the brain suggests that there are actual physical differences. Making a rational "choice" might not be as easy as reading and making a decision. Instincts might interfere with following through on a decision that triggers fears or feelings of disgust or disagrees with core values.  

     Differences have been found using MRI scans in the size of several areas of the brain that are involved in emotional processing and decision making. The amygdala tends to be larger in the brains of conservatives and the insula, and anterior cingulate tend to be larger in the brains of liberals.

     Conservatives have been found to respond more strongly to issues involving emotions of fear and disgust which are also emotions more associated with the amygdala in neuroscience. An increased sense of insiders and outsiders has also been found more prevalent in conservatives than liberals and which may also be more associated with activity of the amygdala.


The liberal brain may be more open to new experiences and more able to see a need for change to occur, while the conservative brain may feel safer with the routine.

     Instead of viewing each other as "wrong," which would itself be an untrue belief if there are simply physical differences in the way our brains perform, let us instead view each other as specialized in different ways and therefore having value in different ways and let's focus on learning how to best use our various strengths and help support each other in coping with and improving weaknesses.

Clearly this is a topic that needs more than one page & more than one point of view.

We are all immigrants and we do need secure borders - life is a balance between playing it safe following the known routine because it works, and recognizing when to adapt to changing circumstances in order to minimize risks and maximize the chance of survival in the new situation.

Attributes required of a leader in the Army field guide's Figure 1-1 include: 

  1. "Character - Army Values, Empathy, Warrior Ethos, Service Ethos, Discipline,"
  2. "Presence - Military bearing, Professional bearing, Fitness, Confidence, Resilience,"
  3. "Intellect - Mental agility, Judgement, Innovation, Interpersonal tact, Expertise,"

Competencies required for a leader in the Army field manual include:

  1. "Leads - Leads others, builds trust, Extends influence, Leads by example, Communicates,"
  2. "Develops - Creates a positive environment, Prepares self, Develops others, Stewards the profession,"
  3. "Achieves - Gets results; Integrates tasks, roles, resources , and priorities; Improves performance; gives feedback; executes (takes action on plans); adjusts. (changes plans as needed)"

From the U.S. Army Field Manual 6-22 Leader

Development, [pdf], (June 30, 2015), shared for

educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.

 The guidance from the U.S. Army Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development could be of use to any aspiring leaders for evaluating their own areas of strength and weakness as well as helping assess and improve their team's strengths and effectiveness.