Leadership

Managing: 5 lessons...from Barack Obama!

Written by Ian Portsmouth

1. Pre-election, Obama could leap tall buildings in a single bound. But the bullish speeches he made during the campaign were replaced post-election by a measured message that Americans bought into: 73% of respondents to a recent New York Times poll said it would take two years or more for Obama’s administration to make real progress on fixing the U.S. economy. LESSON: Manage customer expectations (after the sale, if possible).

2. As much as Obama spoke about change, he never altered that fundamental tenet of his marketing message. Good move, too: by focusing on change without defining the outcome, he allowed people to fill in the blanks with their own happy vision of the future. LESSON: Know your marketing message, and stay on it.

3. In order for Obama to demonstrate his empathy for the average citizen, he portrayed himself as the American everyman: shooting hoops with voters, conducting kitchen-table talks for a national TV infomercial audience and even wearing jeans and sneakers at campaign stops. LESSON: Be like your customers.

4. If John F. Kennedy was the first TV president, Obama is the first Internet president. The Web-savvy former senator used text messaging, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to recruit Obamamaniacs and raise millions in campaign contributions. LESSON: Grow with Web 2.0.

5. Thoughtfulness and assertiveness are attractive in a leader. Anger and a bias for confrontation are not. Compared with his Republican rival, Obama stayed calm under pressure, helping him solidify his support and earn his opponents’ respect. LESSON: Always keep your cool.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com