|(from David Remnick's January 27 New Yorker article)|
Have you read David Remnick's article in the current New Yorker? If not, do. Soon. Remnick listens to Obama without apparent lenses. He even discards the almost always present lens of "Are you succeeding or failing?" Healthcare is hardly mentioned. The article almost seems to me to exist without apparent intention or angle. We are invited to experience the President, through his own words, almost in slow motion, as he answers Remnick's many thoughtful questions. Obama (to my view) neither lectures nor sells. He expresses himself, sometimes taking a long moment before beginning. Remnick notes this characteristic of the President, not as judgment, but rather so we can experience this too. The words. And the space between the words.
A brilliant piece. The first one I've found where the author isn't trying to figure Obama out, and where we are gently told not to bring all our judgments to the reading, but to relax, sit back, simply experience the man.
Remnick does not say that Obama is a transformational leader. That's my conclusion, and I've felt that way for a long time. But I use that title now because Remnick's piece gives us a clean look inside someone who has the interior spaciousness, self-awareness and generosity of heart to have followed his own path of transformation, and to therefore be able to offer transformative space to others, including you and me.
Let me move to my evidence. What has Obama done to earn, in my opinion, the title of transformational leader?
Tomorrow I will look at the key transformational leadership qualities that I see in Obama, most of which are expressed or implied in Remnick's article.