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Upfront Blog Oval Office or Starship: What a leader needs

A professional manager may or may not make a good US president. Piloting a superpower through a four-year term is so complex and unpredictable that no one can be fully prepared for the job.

Evan Vucci/AP

Who was the best captain of the Starship Enterprise: the swashbuckling James T. Kirk, who relied on charm, instinct, and, frequently, his fists; the cool-headed Jean-Luc Picard, who could outthink half the known universe; the compassionate, collaborative Kathryn Janeway, who enlisted her crew’s teamwork to solve intergalactic puzzles?