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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
President Obama's recent achievement on healthcare has not just rebutted critics, it has slain doubts. His election campaign promised the triumph of imagination and optimism over weary resignation. His slogan "Yes we can!" was meant to answer an implicit question over the ability of politics ever to be a vehicle for meaningful change.
President Obama revisited that theme in a brilliant speech on the eve of the healthcare vote. He asked veteran parliamentarians to recall what inspired them to get involved in politics in the first place. He invited them to fan the embers of their idealism back into flames of conviction. He used the power of pure oratory to change the boundaries of what his audience considered possible in politics. It is hard to imagine any of the current generation of British politicians mobilising anyone that way.
We may have watched much of the US debate on healthcare with bafflement. But we can also witness with envy the manner in which the argument was won by the president and feel inspired.