A study of the tactics used by Obama proves to be essential to understanding the style he adopted to govern his nation, and reveals techniques useful to leaders in all fields.
President Barack Obama is rightly considered the epitome of a man with the gift of communication. His rhetorical skills and an ability to paint pictures with the words he uses – so that people not only see what he sees, but also feel it – are the qualities that catapulted him to very heart of national political consciousness. However, since he was elected, the world has taken a closer look at the wide variety of communication styles Obama adopted to connect with people.
A study of the tactics he uses proves to be essential to understanding the style he adopted to govern his nation, and reveals techniques useful to leaders in all fields:
Put to the test. The slogan ‘Yes, we can’ was the theme of his campaign. It served both as the battle cry used by Obama to urge people to act, and as a warning to Americans that if they wanted their nation to change its face, they would have to work to achieve it. . He also promised to tackle the many problems, specifying that for that he will need their support. It is this challenge which later will represent for the Americans an ultimate challenge, when it will have to take hard decisions which will antagonize most of its supporters. When that happens, he will have to challenge them just as he challenged the status quo.
To question. As a former law professor, Obama loves debating differing opinions. When dealing with a subject, he likes to hear all possible opinions on it. He wishes to provoke other people into giving him opposing points of view. One of the reasons he manages to pique the interest of people with disparate opinions is that he actually listens to what others have to say. This ability to reconcile different ideologies will be essential for him to receive bipartisan support for his initiatives.
Encourage the troops. While Obama’s journey by train from Philadelphia to Washington DC to retrace the same route as Abraham Lincoln has great historical significance, as CNN reporter Candy Crowley noted, Obama wanted to excite his public, as well as the nation as a whole, about his government, and draw their attention to the challenges it currently faces. Obama wants to turn this surge of hope into a political asset that will prove useful when he and his government will have to make difficult decisions.
Stay himself. Obama is a sports enthusiast and he was not shy about expressing his point of view indicating that it will be necessary to set up college football playoffs. In addition, the family is in his eyes a primordial value, and he is not afraid to reveal the love he has for his wife and daughters. The image that comes to mind then is that of a man who, in many respects, is like the others…and therefore, he too knows the difficulties and tribulations that we encounter on a daily basis. .
Decide. As open to receiving dissenting views as he may be, the manner in which Obama conducted his campaign, as well as the negotiations he quickly entered into with the United States Congress, proved that he knows what he is wants and he is not afraid to use the political capital he has accumulated to achieve it. The fact that he managed, by lobbying the government, to release the second part of the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds is a perfect illustration of this.
Inspire. In a speech preceding his inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Obama reminded Americans of Lincoln’s example and his rhetoric, saying, “What we need is a new declaration of independence, not only for our nation, but also in our own lives, in order to free ourselves from ideologies, narrow thoughts, prejudice and bigotry; for this we will have to appeal not to instincts that are easy for us, but to the best of ourselves. If the past is of significant significance, Obama is likely to cite the major obstacles overcome in American history as a beacon of hope and proof that tough decisions can be made and that can solve the toughest problems.
Another thing about Obama that is essential to enable him to lead a nation affected by the crisis is his composure. A guest on the talk show Larry King Live, strategist James Carville, a longtime Democrat, remarked on how Obama’s attitude has helped him exude confidence, a quality that can comfort American citizens. in times of crisis.
What allows him to support such varied communication styles is a severe sense of discipline. It is rare to see him at odds with government policy; he is not shy about keeping his intentions to himself, especially when questioned by the media. He and his entourage remain consistent in their ideas, and that is why Obama’s campaign has been crowned with success.
Obama has an oral fluency that makes his arguments crystal clear. His challenge, like that of all leaders, is to ensure that the terms he uses serve as a call to action rather than as mere rhetorical frills.
In other words: it is easy to formulate words…but only actions count.