We have a weekly team meeting first thing Monday morning, and we start with everyone sharing the most inspiring thing that happened for them over the last week. This week half the team (me included) mentioned the US elections as their inspiration.
What is it that is so inspiring about Obama?
One thing for me is, he is - as Newsweek says - genuinely self-aware. From the fantastic series of just-released Newsweek articles on the presidential campaign:
Obama was something unusual in a politician: genuinely self-aware. In late May 2007, he had stumbled through a couple of early debates and was feeling uncertain about what he called his "uneven" performance. "Part of it is psychological," he told his aides. "I'm still wrapping my head around doing this in a way that I think the other candidates just aren't. There's a certain ambivalence in my character that I like about myself. It's part of what makes me a good writer, you know? It's not necessarily useful in a presidential campaign."
(with thanks to Jonah Lehrer's blog and Mike for forwarding it to me).
In the LYB System we teach about The Skill - how to take actions that have you and others feel better. This is something that Obama has in spades ... He is having people feel better all over the planet.
I believe his self-awareness is an integral part of this. He notices how he is feeling, and understands the cause of this. He is also brilliant at tapping into how others are feeling.
These are both also critical attributes for running a business. To have others feel better (which is what we are all about in business) you have to be able to determine how they are feeling in the first place. And the best way to do that is to have the self-awareness to be able to notice your own feelings.