At last! A leader who can speak and inspire

I confess that I am a fan of President Obama. I also confess that I never felt warm or supportive about our former president, whose competencies were questionable. That said, this blog entry is not about politics. It is about communication. It is about President Obama’s address to the nation last evening.

It was refreshing, to say the least, to listen to a president who has a command of the English language. Mr. Obama spoke with eloquence, passion, and humility. He conveyed his vision and his determination to lead us to recovery. It is inadequate to say he was an inspiration. Rather, he inspired.


In short, Mr. Obama looked like, acted like, and spoke like a servant-leader.


Earlier in the day, an NPR reporter told radio listeners that the Republican response to Mr. Obama’s speech would be given by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The reporter also speculated that Jindal might have been selected as a sort of trial balloon – that Jindal might take a run at the presidency in the next election. With that information in mind, I was curious to see what he would say and how he would say it.


For the first five or 10 minutes of his speech, all Mr. Jindal seemed to talk about was himself. Finally, he started to attack the Democratic Congress and its decisions to pass the stimulus package.

What struck me, however, about Mr. Jindal’s address was his lack of sincerity. He tried to appear sincere, just as former President Bush tried to appear sincere. But, there is a big difference between acting sincere and being sincere, and even a two-year-old can tell the difference. Mr. Jindal came across as talking down to his audience. It was not so much what he said, but how he said it.


I don’t know about you, but I am turned off by people who talk in a condescending manner to me.

If Mr. Jindal were putting out a trial balloon, it lost its gas, very quickly.


As I said, this blog isn’t about politics. It’s about communication. Leaders need to be able to communicate if they want to inspire. Great leaders communicate their vision and inspire their supporters to follow.


Mr. Obama inspired. He is a leader.


How great it is to have a president who knows how to talk.


Until next time,

Linda Segall

Segall Enterprises: Writing & Editing Solutions


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