So proud of Obama!

The other night I was listening to Keith Olbermann describe how Obama mediated between Sarkozy and Chinese President Hu, who – it seemed – were both about to leave the G-20 Summit in a huff.  Obama took them aside and got them to a compromise.  What a profound and refreshing difference from the past! So great to feel proud of the person who’s representing me on the world stage.

And then, I heard him say at the press conference afterward, in reference to his view of leadership:

“We exercise our leadership best when we are listening; when we recognize that the world is a  complicated place, we are gonna have to act in partnership with other countries; when we lead by example; when we show some element of humility, and recognize that we may not always have the best answer — but we can always encourage the best answer.”

A man after my own heart. Pretty great to have a President who expresses such things — and who truly seems not only to believe them but to be trying to demonstrate them. 

I completely agree that we lead best when we are listening. All the really good and effective – and beloved – leaders I know are skilled listeners, They understand that listening builds mutual respect, is the foundation of good decision-making, supports commitment and enthusiasm, is essential to real influencing.  And they don't just understand those things intellectually, they put them into practice by listening deeply and consistently to all their constituencies, and incorporating what they hear into their vision and action.

Posted in Leading People

About Erika Andersen

Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are custom tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture.

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