Obama And Leadership

The Republicans criticize Barak Obama for not showing leadership. What they continue to miss is that most non-Republicans really don’t care about leadership. They might say they do, but they continually support Obama and other political “leaders” who do not show leadership.

Basically, there is no leadership if there is no followership. Obama’s supporters support him, because they have no place to go – at least right now – but they do not follow his lead.

The recent State Of The Union message is a case in point. Obama said that if the Congress did not act, he would go it alone. That’s not leadership. Leadership in his context is convincing Congress to follow him. If he cannot get Congress to follow him exactly, he must compromise a bit, to reach the point of a leader/follower relationship.

Well, why do his supporters still hang in there – apart for there being nowhere else to go? It is because there is an unconscious element to what he does that resonates with our first leaders, our parents. All figures of focus, whether political, entertainment, or sports, have this, whether they want it or not. That is, we transfer to them what we expected our parents to be like. When he says, “Hey, kids, if you don’t take out the trash, I’ll do it myself,” it resonates with how many parents would respond to us when we didn’t do our jobs, as Obama accuses Congress of. Of course, there is an implicit addition to the parent’s taking out the trash him/herself – that is that we’ll suffer in some other way, that we were bad, etc.

That’s why Obama continually gets away with not mobilizing Congress and for not executing the laws he’s the chief executive of. He’s like our parents. He scolds, and we take it, because unconsciously he resonates with parents. Oh, we say unconsciously, our big brother Congress is gonna get it now!! It’s parenting, but it’s not leadership.

He gets elected, but he doesn’t get followed – because he parents, he doesn’t lead.


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