Susan Popoola

Leveraging The Value of People
November 3rd, 2008 by SusanPopoola

If I Was in a Position to Vote

I doubt if will surprise anyone that knows me to hear that I am hoping and praying that Barack Obama wins the American Presidential elections.

I am not an American, neither do I live in America and as such I am not in a position to vote. Some would even say that as a consequence I shouldn’t even have an opinion. However, if the truth is that we now have a global economy and the current economic problems that we are facing here in England (as with the rest of the world) stem from or at least relate to actions taken within the US, then I believe I as everyone has the right to comment – even though we are not in a position to vote.

My support for Obama is not due to the colour of his skin or his change mantra, but because I have studied him as a person, his background and his proposals and I believe he is best positioned to serve and propel America forward.

Indeed at the beginning of the primaries I studied all the candidates and specifically listened to biographical information on each of the candidates, searching…. searching for the candidates that I believe would be best positioned to understand , support and connect to everyday people. With an awareness of the divides and growing disparities that exist within societies, this was the most crucial factor for me.

Obama’s background, work experience and policies mean that he meets the essential criteria. His campaign strategy (which I believe should be studied by every business leader, entrepreneur, community worker etc) demonstrates his ability to mobilise and involve people. This is compounded with the experience of Joe Biden who I believe is very much in touch with the people, both because of his background and because he probably interacts with them on a daily basis as he travels with them on his daily commute. On the other hand, while I believe that McCain sincerely cares, I don’t believe that he or Palin have the background experiences to fully understand.

My focus and essential criteria for the next president sounds simplistic, but I’m a simple person. I do not however deny the importance of experience, intelligence, character etc. These are also very important. Though you may choose to question Obama’s experience, he has clearly demonstrated character and intelligence in the campaign and for any experience that he is lacking I believe he will pull together a team that will effectively fill in the gaps in his experience.

I still, however, go back to the ability to connect and support the needs of everyday people because I sincerely believe that as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Said “As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy, even if I just got a good checkup at the Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are all interdependent”.

For a leader to lead on this principal he or she must be a servant leader with fortitude, compassion and understand. I believe at the very least Barack Obama will do his uttermost to be a servant to the people.

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