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Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

A Strategic Mind at Work

Both the admirers and critics of President Obama's performance in Europe miss its full significance. Yes, he improved America's image. No, he did not get the full support he wanted for the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. What he showed was a strategic mind at work, plowing the ground to grow a stronger, healthier future.

President Obama demonstrates the qualities of strategic intelligence that I have observed in the most effective business and political leaders. These include foresight, partnering, visioning with systems thinking and motivating people to realize the vision. Both in his domestic and international strategies, he has focused on the future, even at the cost of quick immediate results. At home, his vision of a strong economy requires a more educated, healthier and technologically advanced society. In Europe, he painted a vision of partnership to control and eventually abolish nuclear weapons.

From a strategic point of view, his developing relationship with Dimitry Medvedev is potentially the most significant achievement of his trip. He suggested a deal exchanging the anti-missile defenses on Russia's border with collaboration in keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He deserves our appreciation for proposing a vision of a saner world and taking the first steps to create it.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  April 7, 2009; 11:57 AM ET
Category:  Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I completely agreed with the author on this. He knows a cracked wall is caused by a shifted foundation, so instead of building a new wall or repair it, he temporary patched it and spent money to fix the foundation. Yet, his children complained why he spent money on the foundation repair while the wall is cracking.
On the nuclear issue, it's a win-win strategy that fit well. Yes, it would be nice to have a world free of nuke, but he knows full well that it's a hard thing to accomplish. However, by bring it up, he created a common point of interest for Russian to join hand. Once the trust is established (from working toward a common goal, not accomplish it), he can engage them with other issues. This is a perfect example of how to make friends: you talked about common interest first.

Posted by: lancedal | April 7, 2009 1:13 PM
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