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Obama represents New-World leadership

Mary Lou Taylor and Paulene Child
Silverthorne

Starting in the mid-1960s, a variety of driving forces provoked change in leadership style in the corporate and political worlds. In a tailspin of rapidly changing technology, computers and telecommunications, global economics and new demands for social responsibility, the corporations have been forced to adopt a new paradigm, or world view. Managing change does not mean controlling it (Old World), but rather understanding it, guiding it, and adapting to it when necessary (New World). An organizational behavior and management college textbook used in the 1980s states “businesses who do not abandon the traditional top-down, rigid, hierarchical structures will be left behind by the year 2000.” As predicted, since the year 2000, under Bush’s autocratic, Old World leadership, the U.S. has been left behind on almost all levels: economic, scientific, environmental and especially in global relations.

Countless people all over the world are waiting to see if the political leadership of the U.S. will at last step up. Will the American people choose a leader who will make the world a safer place, ecologically and politically? Barack Obama is a Renaissance man, defined by Random House Dictionary as “a person of broad intellectual and cultural interests possessing universal knowledge.” So disarmingly refreshing is the tone of respect, compassion and sound judgment with which he speaks to us that some people are unable to hear. Obama has spent just four years in Washington, yet authored six major laws ranging from ethics to education. He demonstrated a strong bipartisan disposition in working with Republican Tom Coburn to author the “Google for Government” bill, an accountability tool that requires notice of all federal contracts to be posted online, as well as a bill requiring videotaping of police interrogations, a national model which has simultaneously increased conviction rates and reduced jailhouse beatings.

McCain has authored six bills in his 22 years, but nothing big on the economy, education, health care, law enforcement or other major issues. It is said that his sparse record is due to his unpopularity with his GOP colleagues who have described him as a hot head with an explosive temper. Born in the 1930s, he was trained for military leadership in the autocratic style, the same style we have suffered these past eight years.

Obama, on the other hand, epitomizes a New World leadership style, the unflappable collaborator, managing change through understanding rather than autocratic control. Obama has the intelligence, charisma, temperament and record to make our nation strong again, and to make the world a safer place. To quote our 22-year-old friend Max Swennen, just in from Belgium, “All we hear on TV about America is fighting, the war in Iraq and school shootings. People all over Europe are seriously hoping for Obama.”


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