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President elect Obama : Listen to us

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posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 08:42 AM
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The following is from a brilliant opinion article on the Forbes website. If you want to read the full article, please find it here. I thought I would copy the whole thing into the main post for ease of reference.

President Obama : Listen to the Entrepreneurs

America has elected Barack Obama this week to an eminently well-deserved presidency. His phenomenal grass-roots campaign, his crisp positioning as the agent of change and his inspiring oratory has led us into the promise of a new era.

As he embarks on the journey of switching roles from a "revolutionary" to an "executive," I have a few things to say to him:

President Obama, on many accounts, you are my kind of guy. Your youthful energy, your flashing smile, your optimism, your poetry, your intellect, your willingness to learn, your calm, the obvious success of your marriage and of course, your comfort with modern technology--it all feels reassuring. I can relate to you.

But, I am not one of your fans. Not yet.

Why? I am one of those objective, open, rational intellectuals who are perfectly willing to be convinced about where you plan to take America and the world. In turn, you have promised to listen to me.

So listen, President Obama. You have led a generation of youth in a historical upheaval. This generation listens to you. They look up to you. And what are you telling them? Following your example, you are telling them to engage in politics and community service, and you are reassuring them that the government will be taking care of them.

I have a problem with this philosophy. I have a problem with the entitlement epidemic that will be the unintended consequence of your charismatic and intensely compelling rhetoric. Whatever comes out of your mouth today, and even more so, in the months and years to come, will be treated as Gospel by an entire generation. And for this, you have a responsibility about what you say to them.

Yes, you can lead the followers. But can you lead the leaders? And can you make leaders out of your followers?

You want to create 5 million new green jobs--a great goal. To create 5 million jobs, you need at least 50,000 entrepreneurs--leaders--to step up to the plate.

What, President Obama, is your message to this group that you so desperately need help from to deliver your beloved country out of this economic mess? That you will take the fruits of their toil and hand it out to those on welfare? At least that is what we are hearing in your rhetoric. Your messaging is terribly off when you try to communicate with the entrepreneurs, and it terrifies us.

All we hear is Wall Street versus Main Street. Well, we're not the looters of Wall Street. We are the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and elsewhere--we build, we innovate, we create jobs. And to us, you have had nothing encouraging to say thus far.

You see, President Obama, leading leaders is an entirely different ballgame than leading followers. Poetry alone does not suffice. Incisive intellects ask questions that need and deserve logical answers without contradictions. When you say you will fix health care and education, we all rejoice. But then you cannot support your claims with a clear explanation of where the money to finance those plans will come from, and you lose credibility.

Leading leaders is also a discipline full of possibilities. We all have good ideas. If you are going to be our leader, we need you to listen to those ideas and incorporate them into your policies. (See "Stimulus Package For Entrepreneurs.") I have yet to hear back from you or your team.

I understand that you have been very busy. And as a strategist, I also understand that you could not have won this election by focusing on the relatively small number of entrepreneurs in America. You needed the numbers and, for that, you went to your base. You went to the masses, inspired and engaged them, and they have delivered you this presidency.

But now, we do need to hear back from you on the issue of how you plan to stimulate entrepreneurship. And we hope that you will let us advise you where we know more than you. Whether it is cleantech, education or health care, you need entrepreneurs to engage you and help you solve the problems.

I see, in many ways, reflections of another great leader in you: Mahatma Gandhi. With amazing charisma and astute understanding of grass-roots politics, Gandhi brought down the British Empire in India. But when it came time to rebuild a new India, Gandhi simply failed to rise to the occasion. He was a great revolutionary but a terrible executive.

You, President Obama, will need to be a great executive. And executive leadership is different from grass-roots leadership. It requires leading the leaders and those who will deliver you your greatest prize: job creation and prosperity.

In your victory, President Obama, you have left us unaddressed. And we cannot let you get away with that.




posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 08:53 AM
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Excellent article!



I (and many others) have been saying these same things for a while now, and share these concerns. I truly hope Obama will address these types of things and be successful as President.

In line with the author, I am not a fan of Obama, but I do want him to succeed. I want this country to succeed, and in order for that to happen, he can't really follow through with what he has been promising.

Star and Flag!



posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 10:02 AM
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I understand this is an editorial piece selected by the periodical as representative of an opinion, or voice, that merits review. I offer my comments hereafter, as an example. The example I offer is that of someone who also maintains that the "proof is in the pudding" but will not resort to paradigms that have failed us for generations. Such paradigms are reflecting in this piece. So, if I were to take the opportunity to I would offer up the following:

President-elect Obama: Yes, listen to them, AND everyone else too.


You see, President Obama, leading leaders is an entirely different ballgame than leading followers. Poetry alone does not suffice. Incisive intellects ask questions that need and deserve logical answers without contradictions....


Wrong! Leading leaders is NO different than leading followers. Leaders are the BEST followers, it is part and parcel with the ability to lead. Those who cannot follow CAN NOT LEAD. Thus, the problem of our culturally biased propensity to place elitist self-aggrandizing socialite academics and politicos has brought us to our current situation. If leaders continue to impose their view that it is they who are exclusively capable of 'insightful' and 'critical' thinking, they have lost their connection to the people whom they feel 'entitled' to lead. Leaders are PART of what they lead, they are neither 'above' nor 'beyond' it. Otherwise they are not leaders, they are bosses. We don't need bosses. Both Wall Street and Main Street have more than enough of those to go around.


When you say you will fix health care and education, we all rejoice. But then you cannot support your claims with a clear explanation of where the money to finance those plans will come from, and you lose credibility.


You DID allow your party to insert MANY vague and hopeful notions concerning the 'fix' to health care and education. You are now in a position to make them live up to the check they asked your mouth to write (and your behind to cash.) Will you? Many fail to see the means to achieve this goal, and are rightfully skeptical and cool about the matter. Perhaps YOU can now tell s how much of this plan comes from YOU and how much comes from the political machinations intertwined in your party's political plans.


Leading leaders is also a discipline full of possibilities. We all have good ideas. If you are going to be our leader, we need you to listen to those ideas and incorporate them into your policies. (See "Stimulus Package For Entrepreneurs.") I have yet to hear back from you or your team.


Everyone thinks there ideas have merit and value. Most maintain their ideas are not given enough weight or respect. As a leader, can you tell your own 'swollen-headed' elite comrades that their ideas are NOT any good? Or will you be a president who concerns himself with coddling the 'feeling's of your counterparts in the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. Can you muster the will to actually tell a senior politician 'NO'? There are so many who will tell you they have more wisdom and more understanding and more value because of 'who they are' or 'who they hang with' or 'who they were. Are you courageous enough to point out to them that such 'elitist' wisdom has failed us for the last 100 years? Can you truly live up to the expectations of so many new and youthful citizens by admitting that the government doesn't know every damn thing, and that the advice you get from those around you, and those granted access to you is one-sided, biased, or simply self-serving? Will you respect that those without such access and 'voice of representation' are right in expecting you to represent them with the same care for prosperity and success as your political campaigns corporate sponsors, or will your social world impinge on your judgments?


I understand that you have been very busy. And as a strategist, I also understand that you could not have won this election by focusing on the relatively small number of entrepreneurs in America. You needed the numbers and, for that, you went to your base. You went to the masses, inspired and engaged them, and they have delivered you this presidency.


Most Americans will learn, if they haven't already, that the media popularity contest is more significant than any other single factor in a political campaign. There nothing 'new' or 'shocking' about that reality. But this is the part where you shrug off the bonds of the Hollywood production, roll up your sleeves and show us just how much you really love this country. This country, the American enterprise, is not PROPERTY. Will you send that message to those who would seek to own us?


But now, we do need to hear back from you on the issue of how you plan to stimulate entrepreneurship. And we hope that you will let us advise you where we know more than you. Whether it is cleantech, education or health care, you need entrepreneurs to engage you and help you solve the problems.


Business sees itself as the universal 'cure-all' for all American woes. Business based on a paradigm of profit, and all the moral hazards that accompany such activities. I urge you to indeed LISTEN to the entrepreneurs, AND the academicians, AND the senior statesmen, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY to the people. How can you HEAR the people if you don't enforce the duty of the representation to be faithful? Will you openly and directly challenge this blind spot? Or will the lobbyists and social elite political game players have your ear for the next 4 years? Eveyone will ask you to listen to them. ONLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND TO BE HEARD. Not groups, not factions, not foundations, or think-tanks, and certainly not those in your circle who are devoted to a split nationality or loyalty.


I see, in many ways, reflections of another great leader in you: Mahatma Gandhi. With amazing charisma and astute understanding of grass-roots politics, Gandhi brought down the British Empire in India. But when it came time to rebuild a new India, Gandhi simply failed to rise to the occasion. He was a great revolutionary but a terrible executive.


I will not compare you to MK Ghandi. MK Ghandi was a humanist prophet, who sole mission was to remind people that we ARE ALL THE SAME, that our differences are self-imposed foibles and easily abused to contrive the illusion that there is an upper and lower class of 'less worthy' people who are too simple minded and therefore less important. His maxim was simple, 500,00 British cannot rule over 250,000,000 Indians, if those 250,000,000 Indians refuse to accept that rulership. He was not a nation builder, he was a nation 'restorer'. In no way did he fail. In fact, such was his success that those frightened of it had him killed. He never set out to be a president or ruler, he simply set out to restore human dignity to those who were being made into an elite class' plaything.


You, President Obama, will need to be a great executive. And executive leadership is different from grass-roots leadership. It requires leading the leaders and those who will deliver you your greatest prize: job creation and prosperity.


Leadership, in and of itself, is a single thing. It is an art, not two arts, not three techniques, and certainly not the stereotypical corporate-trained mentality of buzz-words and management 'fads'. The greatest prize is not 'job creation' and 'prosperity'. That is a red herring. The paradigm of people having to slave for someone else to get rich so they can get paid more for their labor is NOT prosperity.

The great prize is freedom, liberty, and the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling life. NOT EVERYONE in this country measures the value of their lives in money. NOT EVERYONE can easily surrender to the programming to be a consumer for the benefit of a profit system. Remember that.

Cheers to your political success! What I am looking for now is NATIONAL success. I am sure it can be done. You have supposed that you can do it. Go for it. Don't lie. Don't cheat. Remember us. We are not the stupid masses that some seem to think we are.

MM



posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


I'll be as succinct as I can (difficult thing to do since this is a really interesting topic).

1. Leading leaders is different in my opinion. It takes a General to lead an army, but it takes a Field Marshal (US equiv = Supreme Commander) to lead Generals. I think what she means is that Obama must enthuse leaders with the same vision that he has. He must ensure that the vision is uniform throughout his Generals, and that they understand the goals. Leading leaders in real life is a complex mix of controlling egos and making sure that they work in a complimentary fashion instead of combating each other. Similarly Obama must make sure, with an iron first, that only his vision is shared amongst all his staff. Rahm Emmanuel for example is an intensely partisan figure... will Obama be able to keep him in check? A leader of men would be overpowered by Emmanuel's brutal honesty and character... it takes a leader of leaders to deal with such stuff.

I agree with your point on there being too much emphasis on think tanks and so called "experts". I believe that Obama must use an intuitive form of vision to lead the country, in what he believes is the best manner for all citizens. He was elected because he was ostensibly thought to be the greatest decision maker in America... he ought to use that mandate and pursue change, and not relent to the partisan ghosts of the Clinton administration that he is surrounding himself with.

2. Businessmen and entrepreneurs are unbelievably important to the health of the economy. Obama ignores them at his peril. While the rank and file citizen may well form the backbone of the country, leaders of industry and innovation are the brain. Neither can exist without the other. Populistic messages of corporate greed may play well to an audience, but without business and enterprise the nation would be full of unemployed, bitter citizens.

3. I agree with the columnist's assessment of Gandhi. While he was a devastatingly effective leader of the rebellion, he failed miserably at public administration. His ideals, while a philosophical catalyst for grace under British fire, were no foundations for a state of prosperity to be built. He was shot (regrettably) because of his insistence that the entire foreign reserves of newly independent India be handed over to arch rivals Pakistan (who promptly invaded Kashmir a few months post partition). Had Gandhi had his way, India would have floundered at the first step and would have been penniless, and attacked by a country financed by the proceeds given away to them freely. It's a shame that he was killed, but it ultimately saved India.

4. I wholeheartedly agree that people are numerous, their goals and ideals different and their propensities varied. It is for this reason that a centralist, top-down government cannot work. Obama would have to enact a visionary platform state... that is one that supports the people via a good infrastructure, law and order, education and military systems. All else would be just interference.

Thanks and regards!



posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by 44soulslayer
 


Your points are well-taken. I admit freely that I am an idealist when it comes to breaking some paradigms which contribute to the submission of some citizens to the will of others for the sake of money. But I understand that if Capitalism is to succeed, commerce must occur, and healthy commerce is what this country has been lacking. I am somewhat biased as I have witnessed too many instances of exploitation of people for the intangible 'success' of business - especially as those who labor are considered 'liabilities' and 'drains' on the profit model. But this is an admitted generalization.

I was never clear on why Ghandi believed that capitulating on the control of the nations wealth would encourage a more harmonious relationship between India and the nascent Pakistan. I will review my history more closely. However I still maintain that my impression of Ghandi was not one of seeing him as an ambitious national leader. His purpose seems much more direct and simple - perhaps too simple for those who cannot abide the notion of the abolition of the 'untouchable' caste, and other such classicisms.

Thanks for the feedback!



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