Tuesday November 13 2012

Succeeding: Seven life lessons from Obama’s win

By Ethan Musolini

Barack is back. Four more years. Many “first” records. First Black president. First incumbent to be re-elected with unemployment levels above 7.1 per cent. As of Election Day, unemployment was standing at 7.9 per cent. Life lessons we can learn from Barack Obama’s win? Here they are:

Fight back: He lost the first debate which gave his challenger Governor Mitt Romney an incredible surge in opinion polls and support. Obama’s camp promised to be more aggressive in the following debate. He did and won all the remaining two debates. Had he lost again, we would be talking of the former president. So, just because you are losing for now, doesn’t mean you are completely gone. Just, fight back.

Defence: Knowing that he had good numbers from his 2008 win, his core strategy was to keep the previous voters intact. He lost only two states that he had taken in 2008. And those were deeply Republican before he won in 2008. The key lesson here is, before you move out to win, first defend what you have.

Research: He ran a sophisticated campaign. They invested in data collection to a point where they would know a voter at a micro level-from consumption habits to motivations. That gave his campaign machine an incredible edge in communicating their message and motivating democrats to go out and vote. Do not just go out there blindly. Research and make informed moves.

Versatility: In a tight election, even little things make a big difference. Whereas Mitt Romney shied away from Saturday night television shows which pull huge viewership fearing potential mis-steps, Obama went full throttle and even did skits. Even on comedy oriented shows. Don’t rely on just one or two advantages; expand your options to win.

Learning from history: Former President George W. Bush was slow to respond to hurricane Katrina, which earned him wide spread criticism. When hurricane Sandy recently hit the East Cost, Obama quickly put his campaign schedule on hold and went back to Washington to oversee operations. That earned him praise and an edge at a critical time. He learned from history. Are you doing the same?

Studying trends: The Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in USA at 10 per cent. This is a demographic he focused on and exploited by being tactical on immigration, for examplem, which Romney failed to do. Are you studying and responding to trends?

Keeping a steady message: He was consistent and never kept changing positions like Romney. That’s why he kept saying …”I say what I mean and mean what I say”…read trust. Keep your word, be consistent and you will be trusted. Not all of us can be presidents but we can all learn from President Barack Obama how to win even when the odds are against you.