Why Obama Won The Presidency And What It Says About The Future Of Leadership

Part One: The Two Lives and The Third Way
There are two fundamental evaluations concerning any one of us:

1. How we are professionally or capability-wise.
2. How we are humanly.

History is littered with the story of people who possessed outstanding capabilities to create and innovate while not having a matching personal development. Computer hackers are a great example for this: There are those whose life revolves around creating highly sophisticated, utterly destructive computer viruses with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc in the affairs of people who they never met, who did them no harm. They somehow get great satisfaction from succeeding in harming people like you and me, for no reason. So they may be highly talented and capable in their field but lacking in moral fiber and the basic qualities and values that define ‘human being human’. In that respect, it can be argued that in spite of their brain-power, they actually live a sub-human existence as humans are not meant to make destructive practices to be their mental center of gravity. As has been written about in previous Fulcrums “You become what you think about”.

So there are two complementary skill-sets that are part of our basic human constitution: One defining what we can do, the other defining our state and quality of being. These two can live in close harmony and inter-empowerment or a state of disconnection; where what a person does is not supported and powered by their innate human qualities. When a person lives in a state of disconnect – from oneself, from one’s human essence – it often leads to a situation of anything goes: “Why did you just create a device that can annihilate a whole city at a flick of a button?” “Because I can and that’s what I feel like doing, that’s why”.

Brain power alone, when disconnected from true values, can quickly end up serving just about any cause – from divine to demonic. It’s only when we connect, stay connected and engage in the evolution of the human dimension; when we endeavour to discover in fullness the meaning of ‘human’, then and only then an absolutely awesome, fantastically magnificent world of unlimited possibilities reveals itself. As an example, ‘empathy’ is a real living science. Try to create an artificial intelligence that will be able to mimic empathy, with all of its infinite range of considerations as they apply to the profound uniqueness of each individual you deal with, to quickly discover the living skills that belong with ‘human’. Now try ‘wisdom’, ‘sensitivity’, ‘self-awareness’, ‘collaboration’, ‘love’, ‘finesse’…

One of the aims of personal development is to create in oneself a state of affairs of inner union between the doing and the being, so that the human in the person rather than the robot in the person is leading the way.

Part Two: The Search of Mr. & Ms. Human
It is said that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that matters is combat. The ‘secret’ for the reason for Obama being elected to a second term may well be bound up with: It’s not the size of the politician in the human but the size of the human in the politician. And also most certainly in this case with: Behind every great man there is a great lady.

Before proceeding and to be clear: I am not a great advocate of any of the politicians who are currently entrusted to lead their nation, as I fail to detect in any one of them the high development that being a states-person calls for. However, I do think that the quality of humanity does stand out in the Obama – Michelle  combination. And the reason why he was elected may well be the fact that people around the world are desperately looking for the human in the human. This is why the stories surrounding the firing of senior executives who have been responsible for major operations in leading companies highlight their people dealings. It’s an accelerating trend and one that we will all be wise to pay close attention to. We have entered a new era in human affairs, where people from across the globe are increasingly searching for the human in them, the human in each other and the human in those who are tasked with leading.

The age of the human is here. Marking the slow and imminent death of the age of the technocrats; the tyrants; the “I know what’s good for you and you will be as I expect”; the men who shoot a woman in the head having just ganged raped her so that their ‘honour’ is kept ‘intact’; the politicians with empty promises, the reckless managers that drive themselves and others beyond sanity.

Being a human being is a highly skilled occupation. It may not always pay in world currencies but it pays in great abundance in refined energies, special forms of connected well-being and extraordinary intelligence to which there is as yet no computer test to determine its unquantifiable ‘IQ’. As an example, attaining mastership at detecting and promoting other people’s unique talents and natural genius is a very highly rated skill in the realms of leadership that only the very few really understand. Or, the development of branches of wisdom that open keyhole perceptions into understanding profound truths.

And yes, adhering to high moral and ethical codes, upholding values and developing core qualities  that withstand the grinds of daily living can also bring real, tangible riches. Cultivating and nurturing the human in the human is one of the three pillars of developing (self) leadership. The other two are specialisation and the in-depth perception of and connection to the spirit of the times.

So why did Obama win a second term? Because people are desperately looking to be led by humans that are true to what it means to be human. Does Obama match these demanding criteria? This may be in question but the human dimension does stand out in relative terms in how he comes across.

The recent picture of the new Chinese leadership: Nine men, standing in a neat pecking order formation. Watch for the first lady to enter that forum – the re-balancing between the masculine and feminine vectors is a crucial part of these trends, as the future is now appearing through the feminine gate. Yes, it is… Which of course does not exclude men, it just needs us men – and also the ladies – to be mindful of the new influences that are now in the process of shaping the world.

David Gommé
World Copyright 2012© David Gommé

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