The NCSL Blog


By Kevin Frazzini

If you, like many people, assume leaders are born and not made, and, like most of us, tell yourself, “I just wasn’t born that way,” think again.

July August 2016 coverIt’s actually the other way around, with leadership being only about 30 percent genetic, according to a recent study of fraternal and identical twins.

In its summertime double issue, State Legislatures magazine offers a double take on leadership, a topic vital to anyone serving in a position of influence in state government. Our cover story, “What Great Leaders Do,” was written by Tim Storey, who conducts leadership programs as director of NCSL’s State Services Division. He uses quotations from historical and contemporary leadership icons to identify the 10 qualities they all mastered—and that you can learn, too.

In a companion piece titled “Tales From the Top,” NCSL’s Katie Fischer Ziegler brings together observations from women who hold top posts in their legislatures.

But leadership is just the start. The July/August issue is packed with good stuff, including two stories on budgeting—one of them about the record-breaking battles in Illinois and Pennsylvania—a feature on remote testimony, and a piece about redistricting, which answers some of the most frequently asked questions on a sometimes contentious, often messy topic. For historical perspective, we have a Q&A with historian and author Dan Jones, who reminds us how the Magna Carta provided the language people—including America’s founders—have used for centuries in standing up to tyranny. There’s plenty more, so pick up a copy or read it online now.

Kevin Frazzini is the assistant editor of State Legislatures magazine.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.