One of the many reasons why President-Elect Obama inspires hope around the world is because of what he’s shown us so far of his abilities to be a profoundly effective leader of change. A few thoughts here on some of the critically important principles he demonstrated to awesome effect in his victorious campaign, as evidenced in his acceptance speech in Chicago’s Grant Park on November 4th:
“Above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way its been done in America for 221 years: block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.”
The simple idea here is that, as a leader of change, you don’t conquer a big mountain in a single leap but, rather, in small steps, with that momentous goal always clearly in mind.
Realistic yet hopeful view of what lies before us:
“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep…There will be setbacks and false starts.”
“We will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.”
Obama’s words give everyone a realistic appraisal of the difficulties of today and tomorrow while, at the same time, renouncing the prophets of gloom and bringing our collective attention to what’s possible when we all commit to a common goal.
Sustainable change comes from the bottom up:
“I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to—it belongs to you…This is your victory!”
The successful leader of change must give full voice and credit to those whose lives are affected.
A call to action:
“This victory is the chance to change. It cannot happen without you. Each of us must resolve to work harder…We rise and fall as one nation, as one people.”
No vision statement is complete unless it has embedded in it a direct implication for action among all those who are part of it.
A reminder of who we are and what we stand for:
“The true genius of America is that we can change.”
In these few words our President-Elect reminds us and the world that our nation remains a beacon of hope and freedom because the fact of his arrival is itself the very signal that our system is self-correcting without violence.
What leadership lessons did you learn from Obama’s momentous words in accepting his victory in the campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America?