Presidential elections in USA are round the corner. While surfing we came across Eli Harari’s article (He is a professional trainer of different kind). The article lists the leadership fundamentals of 21st Century. You would certainly like to explore the same. And why not? Here you go…
Leadership of the Future
How Obama Won the White House
Leadership of the Future-How Barack Obama Won the White House
Leadership is an evolving skill of weaving together variety of different threads that form a fabric upon which, rest the results of human excellence, where self leadership is the key.
This article will focus on the leadership fundamentals that according to my professional opinion won Barack Obama the White House.
• The ability to stay positive and impersonal– this, in my opinion was the major point that separated the two candidates. Obama was the more positive of the two. He came across friendly and respectful to his rival, in contrast to McCain, who appeared angry, condescending and irritable, while taking every opportunity to attack Obama personally– in today’s world, or rather yesterday’s world, if you don’t attack back you appear to be weak. The curious phenomena in this election is that people did see through it. Staying positive will increase your mental capacity and allow you to focus on the bigger picture. Becoming negative and personal shrinks your view and limits your thinking to a point where you start to lose sight of why you do what you do.
• The leadership quality of being able to remain intact and cool under pressure– Obama has shown intactness under pressure and emotional resilience when he was attacked. He remained cool, calm and collected, while his body language demonstrated composure – A key to dynamic leadership is the ability to hold in your mind at all times the reason why you what you do and radiate confidence and dignity, without falling to the trap of responding by personal attacks.
• The ability to stay to the point, to what the case is– Obama has demonstrated the leadership skill of establishing a central thread and coming back to it repeatedly. This gave the audience a sense of regularity, direction and order.
• Keep it simple-Obama kept his message simple and repeated it over and over again. That gave people the confidence that there is a thread of sanity that they can hold on to at the midst of great deal of contradictory information, which provides people with leadership to look up to.
• Surround yourself by people who are experts in their field and always seek their opinion– your leadership is marked by who you choose to be around you. With so much to do the essence of leadership relies on the ability to delegate according to need- This is another perception that people learned to have about Obama-he will seek for advice and has the humility to admit he doesn’t know.
• Experience is only a small ingredient in the new appearing leadership style. Leadership of the future is marked by the ability to communicate and rally people around an idea.
• 21st century leadership revolves around the concept of change and learning to adopt to a new reality– Obama identified Change to be the main issue and demonstrated throughout originality and substance that related to people’s concerns, hopes and sentiments. He was also honest about the fact that ultimate responsibility for the future of the country is at the hands of every individual. Leadrship must have honesty and sincerity as central core feature.
• Always be at training and learning-people love to know that a leader is open and learning. They are not looking a fixed person that knows it all-that’s dogmatic, that’s old and that’s no longer the kind of leadership that inspires people. Obama demonstrated an openness to new learning, without covering up the fact that he has much to learn.
• Make sure that you are not surrounded by “yes” people. “Yes” people are dishonest about your future while honest about theirs- smart leadership surrounds the leader with people of differnt convictions.
• Demonstrate warmth and humanity– this will win you support-Obama showed that over and over again. Humanity and leadership go hand in hand.
• Decision making– the kind of decision making you do needs to have a robust, well rounded foundation that employs strategic thinking and tactical thinking (in that order)
• Charisma– you are human, you are learning, you have humanity, you answer to the point, you refrain from personal attacks, you talk from your heart to the heart of your audience, you show understanding, you are firm, you tell the truth and you don’t deviate from these fundamentals. Charisma is a blend and a balance that makes a person a natural leader.
• When you compare McCain and Obama you can you immediately tell the difference in leadership qualities. One talked ceaselessly about himself and how good he is and the other talked about the issues and What Needs To Be Done.
• A leader understands that her/his job is to make everyone else shine first. They will shine consequently from the light that exudes from those whom they lead.
• Communicate, communicate, communicate…and do so with feelings-Obama includes people and they feel included and include him in their plans for the country.
• …And have a wife that reminds you often of core fundamentals, one who will often whisper in your ear “ remember, you are only but a human…” and I think Barak Obama is lucky to have Michelle Obama as his close partner.
The essence of leadership is in the ability to move on and inspire others to move on. It is a synergy of human qualities that are aimed at the betterment of the many and never for the personal glorification of the leader.
Our questions are:
Are you a leader?
How many of the qualities listed above describe you?
What are you going to do to for the rest?
– An internet surfer…