These are expectedly unusual and very challenging times. There was no Blue Wave. And no real Red Wave. It’s been a nail biter. As you know, my very close friend John Hickenlooper won his Senate seat, thank goodness. We all recognize that campaigning during a pandemic creates and created obstacles. There is so much uncertainty. What’s certain is we live in a divided country, and a divided world. It can leave us feeling exhausted and frustrated or we can remember that John F. Kennedy barely won and took the helm at a time of great indecision and divisiveness and yet soon became a popular president. Nixon came in during a war at its fever pitch and just after the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. King. Jimmy Carter barely beat Gerald Ford after Watergate. Bill Clinton won with only 43% of the popular vote. Bush 43 didn’t win the popular vote and that election was decided by the Supreme Court. And we know President Trump became president under the most unusual circumstances where he was well behind in the popular vote. 

These uncertain days deserved a decisive turn. That hasn’t happened yet. But there are glimpses of hope for unity and we should keep up our resolve. There is much to fight for. Let’s hope we can have the presidency confirmed soonest. 

Ultimately, this will only further elevate the role of what I call the CEO Statesman. These past years have seen a dramatic rise in the willingness and necessity of private sector and civil society leaders stepping up to fill the void of government inaction. This trend only accelerated this past year.  And as inspiring as it has been to see CEOs speak up on issues of social and economic justice, it will be just as important for the private sector and civil society to help the nation find a healing middle ground.

The bottom line is that Washington will continue to struggle to solve the big issues of our time, which is why our work together is going to be even more important going forward.  We need to elevate voices who are committed to building an “uncommon table” of people from all sides who come together with a real desire to find common ground.

The coming days will be volatile as the vote counting wraps up and we see how far President Trump will go with his grievances about the results. Let’s urge calm, level-headedness, and reassert the importance of our democratic institutions. 

Based on the current math, Biden is inching closer to becoming the presumptive president-elect. That said, given the closeness of the counts and the time it takes in some states to count absentee ballots, it is likely we won’t have a formal projection yet but it will come soon. 

Down the ballot, Republicans appear all but assured to retain control of the Senate, and while Democrats will retain the House of Representatives, Republicans cut meaningfully into the margin.

A good friend of mine likes to remind me that “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” and I’m confident that we’re about to see better days ahead.
There is much work to do — and together. The needs are great and there is no better or more essential time for us to lead and help leaders lead. 


  • Alan H.H. Fleischmann

    Founder, Chairman & CEO at Laurel Strategies, Inc.

    Alan H.H. Fleischmann is the Founder, President & CEO of Laurel Strategies, the global CEO business advisory and strategic communications firm for Leaders, CEOs, and their C-Suite. Laurel improves strategy development and execution, leverages media relationships, designs and delivers strategic communications plans, advises on geopolitical dynamics, mitigates risk, manages crises, protects reputations, serves as executive CEO coaches, supports investment deals, and increases the impact of philanthropy.   Previously, Fleischmann served as a Principal and member of the managing board and operating committee of the global business strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group. A lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Executive Committee board member of the Atlantic Council, Fleischmann has also served on the leadership team of PSB Associates. Before that he served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and in the Maryland Governor’s Cabinet; as Staff Director of the U.S. Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; as Vice President of the trade investment firm LATCORP; and as a Senior Associate of J.P. Morgan Chase (formerly Chase Manhattan Bank).     Fleischmann was a Co-Founder of ImagineNations Group and was awarded the Goodwin Prize for ImagineNations’ global work. He is a founding Board Member of Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation and the Just Capital Foundation and serves as a member of the Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC). He is also a Board Member of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Medical Center, Phillips Collection art museum, the Washington National Opera of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College, and an advisory director serving on the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall. Fleischmann is also Chairman of the Board of the School of International Service (SIS) at American University.    

    He was awarded his M.A. from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and received his B.A. and B.S. from the School of International Service and the School of Public Affairs at American University, where he was both valedictorian and student body president of the university.

        Fleischmann is also the Host of “Leadership Matters” on SiriusXM Radio and speaks often and has authored numerous articles on leadership and CEO Statesmanship.     He is married and lives in Washington DC, and is the father of two children.