Friday, July 18, 2008

The "no drama" rule

I won't discuss politics here. There are plenty of other blogs that do that. What I will talk about, from time to time, are the strategies and tactics of politicians -- both Democrat and Republican.

The July 7 issue of Fortune magazine (more good reading from the flight over to Greece) outlines Barack Obama's management/leadership style ("He runs a tight ship, based on a few simple rules").

Here are his seven rules:

1. No drama. "No backstabbing, damaging media leaks, or anything that would detract from the campaign. You do your job, get it done, and keep your head down."

2. Praise those who don't expect it. Recognize publicly those who do the heavy lifting.

3. Make every person in a meeting participate. "Like a tough law professor, Obama will call on staffers who haven't spoken up. He assumes if you haven't said anything, you might disagree."

4. Establish a plan and stick to it. "He [has] a core belief in the strategy ... and he [keeps] everybody on board."

5. Give feedback that's clear, direct, and immediate. "If he's happy, you know it. If he prefers to do something different, you know it. He's not shy about being clear."

6. Allow new ideas to come from the bottom up. As a head coach, some of the best ideas you'll hear are from some of your more junior assistants.

7. Genuinely listen to those who disagree with you. "He really questions advisors aggressively. He wants to see disagreements aired in front of him."