Political brand marketing is a topic I’d love to investigate further. Many bloggers, including Scoble, have dissected the candidacy of the three leading Democrats in the fray – Clinton, Edwards and Obama. One of HBR’s list of breakthrough ideas is leadership that is rooted in Hope.
Our study of effective executives has uncovered many ways in which their decisions, words, and actions make the people they lead more hopeful. Collectively, these practices are the basis of a leadership tool kit for building and sustaining hope. But the most important change comes when a leader is simply more mindful of this vital part of her or his mission.
If you are an executive trying to lead an organization through change, know that hope can be a potent force in your favor. And it’s yours to give.
I believe this kind of leadership is all the more necessary in politics since it drives a nation. And I was pleasantly surprised to find those themes in Barack Obama’s address announcing his candidacy for President 08:
(Source: Flickr images — Barack Obama)
I moved to Illinois over two decades ago. I was a young man then, just a year out of college; I knew no one in Chicago, was without money or family connections. But a group of churches had offered me a job as a community organizer for $13,000 a year.
It was in these neighborhoods that I received the best education I ever had, and where I learned the true meaning of my Christian faith.
It was here, in Springfield, where North, South, East and West come together that I was reminded of the essential decency of the American people – where I came to believe that through this decency, we can build a more hopeful America.
But the life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible. (reference to Lincoln)
Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what’s needed to be done. Today we are called once more – and it is time for our generation to answer that call. (call to action much like JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” quote)
Obama definitely hit all the right notes but questions remain over whether he can translate his charisma into a democratic party nomination. He’s surely a breath of fresh air and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the days to come. Let me close with another one of my favorite quotes from his address:
For that is our unyielding faith – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.
Do you think Obama will “BARACK THE VOTE”?