Obama on ‘Getting Stuff Done’


Too Busy Talking Trash to Lead

By: Larry Walker, Jr.

What happens when you spend years trying to persuade people, yet they are not persuaded? What happens when you try to instill confidence, yet only raise doubt? What happens when you try to bring people together, yet they become more divided? What happens when you attempt to set a tone, yet the tone you set is one of deafness? And what happens when you attempt to make an argument that the people can understand, and they understand it, yet they reject it? You get fired.

Barack Obama on 60 Minutes said, “You know, I think that over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that 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. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully as I go forward.”

You can bet that voters will be carefully examining Obama’s leadership skills as we go forward. As far as getting a ‘bunch of stuff done’, now the task at hand is figuring out how to undo all of it without further damage to the nation. The major tax is whether Obama will be able to admit his failures, and work with others to correct his misconceptions. And speaking of taxes, how long will it take Obama to make that decision? Has he learned any lessons? We are watching and waiting.

One lesson that Obama has yet to learn is that, whether he is speaking from the Oval Office, in India, or on the campaign trail, he speaks on behalf of all Americans. When Obama trashes ½ of America, he is trashing all Americans. As Obama moves forward with his attempts to divide employee against employer, brother against sister, and child against parent, he risks an even greater backlash: total and complete rejection. Grow up or depart.

Leadership Quotes

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

“Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” ~ Robert Half

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~ Theodore M. Hesburgh

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” ~ Peter Drucker

“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower


Stuff: ideas of little value: trash

Trash: something worth little or nothing: as
a : junk, rubbish
b : (1) : empty talk : nonsense (2) : inferior or worthless writing or artistic matter (as a television show); especially : such matter intended purely for sensational entertainment (3) : trash talk


‘I was so busy talking trash that I forgot what I was supposed to be doing.’


Leadership isn’t about talking trash.

References: President Obama on 60 Minutes: ‘Leadership Isn’t Just Legislation’

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