POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Obama’s crucial shortcomings are his unwillingness to insist that his will be done, to get angry when it’s not, and to take command of his own administration.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 8, 2010

.

“We were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that, yeah, leadership isn’t just legislation, that it’s a matter of persuading people and giving them confidence and bringing them together, and setting a tone,” President Obama said in an interview conducted Thursday for airing Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “We haven’t always been successful at that, and I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I have to examine carefully as I go forward.”

******

LMW COMMENT …

It’s not the policies. And it’s not the personality. President Obama is intelligent and charming, and I agree with most of his policy objectives.

The problem is that Mr. Obama simply does not know how to get things done. By which I mean within his administration, not in the Congress, which despite the determined opposition of the Republican “party of NO”  managed to pass more important legislation than any comparable Congress in recent memory.

Obama’s crucial shortcomings are his unwillingness to insist that his will be done, to get angry when it’s not, and to take command of his own administration. He has no experience doing anything remotely similar to the challenges he faces, and so far, has shown no evidence of the needed skills.

Persuasion is good, but command is necessary.

Early on in 2009, there was an incident where it was clear to me that Obama should have fired someone (I forget who and it doesn’t particularly matter now) but he didn’t. He missed the opportunity to set a management tone, and he repeated that failure again and again, with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the current most prominent example.

He is the Commander-in-Chief and he should tell the generals what he wants them to do and insist that they do it!

The President of the United States is the CEO of a complex organization. He needs to be able to select strong people to run his departments, and he needs to give them clear guidance as to what he wants them to do. They don’t choose; the President does. Leadership is in part speaking the words, but it is also, and more importantly, directing and insisting that things get done.

Barack Obama is still the President. I want him to succeed. But the clock is running.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: