Thursday, February 14, 2008

Is the Barack Obama campaign sparking meaningful conversation about leadership?

I just heard from a friend (fellow LinkedInnie, Ray Miller) who recently attended a Barack Obama event in Ohio. He found himself blown away by what he experienced: a group of people of every strip, galvanized under a shared vision, masterfully delivered.

His telling of the events got me thinking--not about the politics of it, but about what seems to be a deeper conversation in the marketplace of ideas...and ideals.

The Democratic campaign has essentially, if nothing else, set skilled, competent management against vision and ideals. Now, I know this is a gross simplification, but follow me a bit further.

People seem far less interested in Senator Obama's particulars than they are in his ability to inspire them about themselves, their country and their future. He strikes me like a Sir Rickie Branson (who, like Obama, doesn't stand on the particulars: he can't even read a balance sheet). People will follow him anywhere, leaving his cadre of skilled minions to fulfill on that vision and ensure that they all get there.

Here's what I'm interested in finding out: Has Barack Obama's campaign shifted the conversation about leadership? Are you noticing an increase in conversations about vision in your work?

Are people talking more about what's possible than about what's probable or likely?

Thanks for looking with me.

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