Vision for a New Era

`MEN make history and not the other way round,'' Harry Truman wrote 31 years ago. ``In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.'' President Truman knew something of the intense burden of leadership, having made the history-altering decision to unleash atomic weapons on Japan. Today new leaders - with names like Gorbachev, Walesa, Havel, Mandela, de Klerk - have seized opportunities and are changing our world. Yet elsewhere, such as the Middle East, leaders have yet to emerge to solve that geopolitical equation.

As Americans prepare to honor their presidents on Monday - particularly Washington and Lincoln, so celebrated as leaders - it's a time to think: What are the right leadership qualities for our time? Why are some leaders succeeding - and others not? Who's training future leaders? And where do our individual responsibilities lie?

The stories listed below try to answer these questions.

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