Here’s a video of my short chat the other day with Fox Business channel’s Neil Cavuto. The question we kicked around was this:
Does a leader need to have Obama’s oratory skill in order to be effective?
Take a look at this short interview and give us your perspective on the dynamics of leadership and inspiration.
Michael Ray Hopkin says
Steve, congratulations on your interview with Cavuto. I agree with your point that leaders do not have to be “rock stars” but instead need to true and authentic. People who are true, authentic and passionate have the ability to motivate others to do the same. People who are putting on an act will be exposed.
Thanks for sharing your insights. -Michael
John Shell says
I agree that it was a good interview. Cavuto set up a strawman, that the “Wow Factor” = elevated oratory, but you promptly disabused him of that notion.
Very few people have a need for “rock star” oratory. I agree that authenticity is far more important. On the other hand, honing your communication skills lets your authenticity shine forth.
The fly in the ointment is that it’s easy to mix up confidence with authenticity.
Stephen Denny says
In the absense of personal experience, we look to the trappings of authority to determine who we’re wowed by. If we know a leader from first hand experience — if I’ve worked for MSFT and have seen how Bill Gates manages — then I have no need for slick delivery. Indeed, if he suddenly becomes an orator, I’ll distrust him and his message.
We hate it when people don’t live up to our preconceptions of them — good or bad.
We respond to Obama because he’s a great orator, and as we have yet to experience any first-hand substance, we cling to our hope for change (sorry for the triple entendre there – someone had to take it). He has the trappings of authority – but not true credibility in our eyes yet.
Leadership is about influence – and whether it come from a fire-breathing orator or a calm and quietly competent man of his word, influence is built on authority and liking. Look at John Keegan’s excellent “Mask of Command” and his comparison of Alexander and Wellington.
I think this nation is hungry for leadership. Obama is a visionary leader that inspires, motivates and moves people. But you’re right he is authentic and organic – we would see right through him if he were some slither-tongued politician trying to swoon us.
Good job on the interview.