4 Crowd Lessons from Political Leaders

Action-packed February has had a lot to showcase, from sporting spectacles to gala award evenings, to events featuring the best of technology. These occasions also mark many a learning point for businesses involving the crowd. For instance the planning and prior homework of audience interests and needs undertaken for Super Bowl Sunday, resulted in big brands create traction through commercials, while the small grocery stores did brisk business in the run-up to the sporting event.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs find takeaways from many sources, however positive learnings from politicians is seldom explored courtesy the negative press they are often subjected to. Nevertheless some of the actions from politicians, especially those pertaining to their relationship with the people, can form a positive influence on entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders wanting to reach out to the mass market.

When the Calling Comes, Be Decisive and Wiling to Act

(Image: guardian.co.uk)

The recently elected French President Francois Hollande has had a roller-coaster of a ride in his few Months in office. Amidst the diplomacy and building bridges with various countries, the recent Mali crisis and his subsequent action has showed his quality of being a decisive leader. When the call for help came against rebel attacks, he answered with a successful intervention, which included liberating the ancient town of Timbuktu from the siege. His move received the overwhelming support of the Malians and also won him accolades world-over with an UNESCO Peace Prize on the cards.
While the military invention may be argued, it’s the leader’s decisiveness and ability to act when needed that found favor with the crowds.

It’s Worth Having Talented Adversaries On Your Team

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Another learning, this one over a period of time and culminating last Month was Barack Obama’s relationship with Hillary Clinton – another roller-coaster ride with a happy ending.
Remember the days of the US Democrat primaries, the ‘Shame on you, Obama’ press meet? Well, that along with a series of heated debates where Obama and Clinton publicly locked horns, went to show the bitterness they had for each other or at least that’s how it seemed.
However right after winning his landmark election to the American Presidency, Obama did the unimaginable by making his staunch adversary his closest professional confidante. Hillary too responded, and in style – a remarkable 5 years as Secretary of State, meeting hordes of people via visits to an unparalleled 112 countries and a million miles of travel to bring home a crown of achievements.

Let Your Audience Know You and What You Stand For

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While some of the Western Monarchs may have lost their sheen during recent years, they could do well learn a thing or two from their Asian counterparts. According to an Emrirates247 article, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan showed his ‘great humility and love that the leaders of the UAE have for their people’ by stopping by to comfort a young girl who seemed lost. He sat beside her until her dad arrived to take her home.
Now, whatever the spin or even possible facts were, the communication of this incident made sure the people got the message of his benevolent image and that he cared for them and their families.
I remember while growing up in Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was seen to be doing a lot of good for his people, including encouraging water harvesting, environmental initiatives and public health support. In fact he was so revered by his citizens that even protestors and coup attempters would step back and take his word as final.

Know Your Audience Interests and What is Trending

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For more than a decade Vladimir Putin has been at the helm of his country’s affairs. Putin has widely been perceived as having ensured political stability and economic progress in Russia.
Last year Putin faced one of his biggest challenges – to maintain his popularity and win another term in office amidst the dissidence and opposition to his style of leadership. Many of the voters in the elections were young and seemingly undecided. Along with promises, which both Putin and his opponents spelled out in equal measure, it was Putin who seemed to be more creative in his campaign style.
Well, the sexagenarian former KGB veteran reached out to his younger voters by showcasing what he’s best known for – his adventurous streak. His macho outlook and publicity stunts included judo training, hunting, deep-sea diving and even swimming in a lake in Siberia. While these headlines many not have been reasons for his re-election, he managed to strike a chord with the young, who see him as someone who is strong-willed and willing to take risks.

There are indeed many takeaways from the actions of mass-based political leaders, find out which ones make most sense to you and your audience.