What we learn from Obama
Date: Sunday , February 01, 2009
Last month marked a historical moment in world history as President Obama took the oath to lead U.S. and bring change to the world. He is an example for success that can be brought about by a leader in action. We are fortunate that we witnessed that action.
Today we are in a world that is far more complex than it ever was - politically, socially, and economically. In addition to meeting business goals the industry leaders have to struggle with the sorry state of financial markets, meet expectations of both investors and employees, attract and retain good talent, and above all keep an eye on opportunities that may arise out of the rapidly changing landscape in terms of technological change. However, not many of our leaders have been adequately resourceful to get to the basics and demonstrate us their confidence to tackle the challenges of the new world order.
Look at the problem the U.S. is facing—it has a $1 trillion deficit and counting, a global financial meltdown that could probably degenerate into a long drawn recession, crumbling infrastructure, declining standards of education, and inadequate healthcare. After 8 years of sloppy governance, this is a country in distress. To address all of these, here is a man who was able to convincingly communicate with 350 million people that he understood their problems and will be effective in solving them. How could he simplify massive macro-economic problems? He was able to encapsulate all his policies in one simple slogan that kept ringing in people’s ears - “Don’t tell me we can’t change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future."
It was the change that people were waiting for and could believe in. He gave people hope. “We’ve got a choice... we see each other as separate and apart and at odds with each other. Or we can take a different path that says we have different stories, but we have common dreams and common hopes. And we can decide to walk down this road together. And remake America once again.”
Who was his inspiration? Mahatma Gandhi, who said 60 years ago: “Be the change you want to see around you’. Obama believed in it and adopted it as his own mantra. Rather than taking positions on any issues, Obama said, “We will give you a government that works.” Here is a leader who came up with a solution, which is effective. Hopefully, it will prove to be effective in his actual administration.
We as individuals and business leaders need to take this extraordinary period to reflect on how each one of us can play a lead role, by being part of a change process to take India to greater heights.