Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s Administration’



January 2, 2010

It’s New Year’s Day and instead of taking time to make yet one more list of New Year’s resolutions to be broken before February arrives, I just finished reading David Plouffe’s The Audacity to Win – the story of the campaign that put Obama in the White House. As interesting as the story of that success was, perhaps more note-worthy was the summation in the Epilogue.

Whether you are part of the Obama movement, a member of the opposite party just trying to glean information, or simply an innocent bystander, I recommend those last twelve pages to everyone. As I read them, I was transported AWAY from the divided political scene in America today, back to my beginnings in business in the 70’s, and forward through almost three decades of learning guiding principles in the corporate world, and then applying those principles to my own start up business and its growth through the last almost 20 years. And without much effort, I can apply the stated principles to the design of any event that I do today.

See what you think:
• With no equipment, experience or relationships, the start up of a business is the formative period that creates its identity.
• With a mind set of idealism and pragmatism, one’s optimism is closely connected to understanding that a narrow pathway to success lies ahead.
• Develop a clear message and single strategy at the outset. Commit totally to that path, and weigh every decision against it.
• Use that strategy to drive all decisions; minimize the impact of outside chatter, and establish your own metrics -not those of critics or pundits- to measure success.
• Understand that technology will play a key role in your success.
• Define your audience, how you find them and get them involved. Use technology to meet people where they live instead of forcing them to deviate from their own habits and lifestyle.
• Recognize that balanced communications across all mediums is critical in any messaging effort in today’s world.
• Measurement takes discipline and the use of the “right” metrics. Organizations thrive when the analysis of job performance is based on clear standards. Corrective action is not subjective, but based on well-defined objectives.
• An organization is a collection of human beings whose greatest achievements come when clarity, calmness, conviction and collegiality can be found through-out the ranks.
• Success is achieved through people who believe in the culture and authentically embrace it. Bonds of trust among individuals are stronger than traditional tactics.

Throughout the epilogue, I connected. Shun conventional wisdom of why something can’t be done… look at things differently… don’t let critics alter your game plan…see both sides of an issue…learn to give measured responses…so many pearls of wisdom I’ve heard from my own mentors and have come to believe through my own experiences.

But perhaps most impactful, was the Obama campaign’s belief in their young staff and volunteers and their desire to look globally beyond themselves to a better world. I was reminded of a time in the mid-80’s when I spent a good bit of time in Cupertino with a client comprised of impassioned youth who believed they would change the world with their Apple Computer. I irreverently referred to them as a California “cult” … until they proved me wrong.

Today, I, like David Plouffe, look forward to the years to come when we experience the leadership and vision of those under 30 today. The next decade will be in their hands.