Obama made BIG history again last week when Americans gave him the right to preside over their country for another four years. With the global economic challenges, many incumbent leaders are struggling to maintain grip on power and especially when subjected to the ballot.
With the economy being a big challenge to manage, it would appear easy for a smart American challenger candidate to win an election against the incumbent that presides over the struggling economy. But not when the incumbent is Obama, the master of winning tough elections.
I remember very well around 2007 when news broke that a â€œcertain African-American had announced that he was running for President.â€ I thought he was at best a self-over rated person or at worst a mad man. But I was to be proved wrong within a year when we all observed how Obama was building his momentum towards the history that was to be made by the first African-American or non-white to be elected president of the United States of America.
At that time, many wondered whether Obama would successfully lead America and the test they gave him was the challenge to retain office at the end of the four-year term. Many of my friends from America and Europe gave Obama little statistical chance for re-election, even before Obama has been inaugurated in for his first term of office. But they too were to be proved wrong by the record-breaking and history-making Obama.
Many theories can explain how Obama made history beyond the expectation and belief of many and most of these theories are neither wrong nor contradicting. Rather they are complimentary and mutually reinforcing. One of the many such explanations is Obamaâ€™s clear instinct about how to win an election. This is not just an abstract sense of instinct but a pragmatic view that is cross-pollinated by extreme levels of hope and determination, fertilised by a very methodical and scientific approach to winning and motorised by an army of spirited followers.
Obama got the basic fundamentals of winning right. He got the best team around him, got them energised, empowered them with a clear single message and organised a clear and correct winning strategy, one that accurately seeks to best follow the winning criteria. That is why you cannot talk of Obamaâ€™s history without mentioning his chief strategist David Axelrod, a man that was introduced to Obama by Betty Lou Saltzmann at a black voter registration drive in 1992. Axelrod played a pivotal role in Obamaâ€™s winning strategy in 2008 and upon Obamaâ€™s inauguration in January 2009, Axelrod became Obamaâ€™s Senior Advisor at the White House, but only for half the term of office. In January 2011, Axelrod resigned from the White House to begin planning (as Senior Strategist) for Obamaâ€™s re-election in November 2012.
With Axelrod and several other very competent election strategists, planners, communication consultants and an army of volunteers, Obama was well positioned to win both the 2008 and the 2012 elections. This formidable force developed winning strategies that accurately matched the winning criteria. For instance, Obamaâ€™s campaign mastered the power of and greatly exploited the system of caucuses to surprise Hilary Clinton in the primaries of 2008.
Whatever success you seek, you need to clearly understand the winning criteria and then develop a winning strategy that accurately seeks to align with the identified winning criteria. If you do this all the time, then like Obama, you too will rise and shine! Good luck!