As I write this article, everyone is getting settled with the new man in the White House, Barack Obama. The guy is simply a complete break from the expected being the first Black President and having been elected in a country where only half a century ago, he would have had to give up his seat in a bus for a white person. Little wonder everyone wants to listen to him.
It is interesting to note that if all the black people in America had voted for Obama, he would have only garnered roughly 15% of the vote. Yet Obama has created history, broke all kinds of records, beliefs and norms, and pulled one of the largest crowds in history to watch him being sworn in as President of the United States including my 50-year-old aunt who travelled all the way from Nigeria.
In winning the presidency, Obama raised the largest election funds in America history, smashing the records several times in the course of the election. He has launched a movement that is not just a political action group but a personality action group across races and colours, that is unprecedented in modern history. It’s Obama that many people contributed money and voted for, not necessarily the Democratic Party.
Why is it that Obama was elected to a position that is arguably the most powerful in the world? Perhaps there may be one or two things to learn from him.
1. Obama possesses a rare combination of integrity, intellect and humility.
Integrity - because there are no skeletons in his cupboard.
Intellect – he is articulate and makes sense.
Humility – he appears not to be carried away by the almost messianic fervour that he generates with people
2. Great Interpersonal Skills – Obama has the ability to make people feel at ease with him. The humour, the smile, the eloquence and the ability to own up to mistakes are attributes that makes people warm to him. He has gone on Bill Clinton’s turf and roundly trounced him.
3. Excellence – I like his excellent and dogged spirit that made him assemble the best political machinery in history. People voted for Obama inspite of his race. He was judged by the content of his character, not the colour of his skin.
Like the 44th President of the United States, we all have a need to generate a presence that can launch us into greatness. The world is looking more and more for those personal skills that have become so rare, yet are so necessary in our time.
Being polished is not about being born with a silverspoon in your mouth. A warm presence mixed with integrity, good interpersonal and communication skills plus excellence in all you do will attract people to you like magnet.
If you want to go far like Obama, you need these basic things of life that will show you are polished and endear you to people.
We all benefit when we do things right! Etiquettebank