by Ross Bonander, via AskMen |
One of the most important and momentous presidential elections in U.S. history has passed, and the American people are now inaugurating Barack Obama as their 44th President. A variety of his positions and decisions influenced his successful campaign for the U.S. presidency, and although the stakes may differ, they are are still useful in a general sense. Obama’s success presents a handful of valuable tips every man can apply to his professional life in an effort to help him achieve his goals. And on that note, we present success tips from Barack Obama.
History may look back on Obama’s decision to understand — and effectively utilize — the fluid technology of the modern minute as his most prudent decision. He isn’t the first president to capitalize on technology (think FDR’s fireside chats, or JFK’s televised debates), but thanks to the elasticity of Web 2.0, Obama became the social networking “friend” of millions, personalizing him in a way that no candidate has ever done before. This use of technology allowed us to feel a closeness to him as a person first, then as a candidate without him really ever having to do anything.
Presidential pointer: Technology is not staid; it moves quickly. So embracing technology is wise only if you understand and implement the trends that fill it out. The potential network is vast — Linkedin, Facebook and more — but it’s not enough to sign up; it needs to be understood and nourished. Embracing technology means embracing a system that is always in flux.
Be the bigger man
Remember during the campaign when the press was hounding Obama for a comment on the news that Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter was pregnant? The man had many options — and many of them could have scored him political points — but the option he chose was stunning: “My mother had me when she was 18.” A dignified and honest response, not what you would expect from any politician. It highlighted the nobility of taking the magnanimous path over the petty one. Furthermore, had Obama jumped on the opportunity to label Palin a hypocrite or a bad parent, he would have labeled himself the same.
Presidential pointers: You may not always win in choosing to be the bigger man, but you will certainly never lose. Dignity is not a forgotten conduct, but its scarcity raises its value and helps to substantiate your reputation down the road.
Elevate by association
When Obama accepted the nomination for his party, he did so in a theatrical fashion, choosing not the confines of an arena, but a modern, athletic stadium where heroes perform. The impact served to remind us not of a dull political rally, but of a stadium concert or an NFL game — images we can identify with. It furthermore helped to elevate Obama as a hero, who was then able to be humble and deferential to the historical precedent.
Presidential pointers: Sometimes the stage acts as more than just a setting, it can have a non-verbal impact on the subconscious. In 1988, Michael Dukakis donned a military helmet that made him look absurd — the image was disastrous. It made a small man look even smaller. Find ways to make yourself larger than your surroundings instead of the other way around.
Recruit people who are better than you
The decision to tag Joe Biden as his running mate was a level-headed, rational and highly strategic move on Obama’s part. The presidency is too big a role for one man; the success of any administration can often be tied to the people whom the president recruits. Vice President-Elect Biden’s DC baggage was no match for his years of experience, and no one could accuse Obama of seeking to make a splash with the decision.
Presidential pointers: Successful men keep their inner circle populated by people whose skills and intelligence can serve and benefit them — people who professionally complement their own skill set. You don’t have to be the smartest or the most handsome in your circle to succeed, you merely need to maintain that it is your circle.
Be like Obama
As the 44th president, Obama will be faced with decisions of immense importance in the years to come, and while these may dictate his success or failure as the leader of the United States, they present all of us with opportunities for professional success provided we can learn from them, adapt them to our own situations and implement them appropriately.