The nomination of Barack Obama as President elect clearly signals a new era. Finally African-Americans can take their rightful place in the United States. It has taken much longer than one might have hoped, but in some ways has happened much earlier than many expected.
Much has been written on that and one of the best is in a New York Times blog by Judith Warner entitled Tears To Remember. This moment of triumph marks the end of such a long period of pain, of indignity and injustice for African-Americans.
A Business Week article by Bill George brings out another important aspect: Barack Obama: A Leader for the ‘We’ Generation.
Leaders can learn a lot from Obama about power that comes from the bottom up, not just from the top down. The sweeping victory of Barack Obama ushers in a new era of leadership that will affect every aspect of American institutions and that sounds a death knell for the top-down, power-oriented leadership prevalent in the 20th century.
A new style of "bottom-up, empowering" leadership focusing on collaboration will sweep the country. A new wave of 21st century authentic leaders will take oversee U.S. institutions of every type: business, education, health care, religion, and nonprofits. These new leaders recognize that an organization of empowered leaders at every level will outperform "command-and-control" organizations every time.
Some might regard those words as overblown rhetoric. However they are supported by an enabling technology: the Internet. For confirmation just check out the Obama Delegates website with its strong emphasis on the grassroots movement.
This is more than just Barak Obama using social media well as some have commented. Just check out MoveOn?s very clever election video. This was just one of many viral activities. Clearly Barack?s Youth Vote Was Energized by Social Media.
According to CIRCLE, a nonpartisan research center studying youth engagement and civic education, without the youth vote, Barack Obama might have had one heck of a time winning this year?s election. That?s just how energized and how active a part in the campaign the youth vote has became. The youth overall turned out in record numbers this year.
The Stats on McCain vs. Obama Online and the Buzz as reflected in Google Trends showed just how wide the gap was between the two campaigns. This had been apparent for some time as Bryan Eisenberg pointed out in August. He saw Obama as someone who was doing online marketing extremely well.
A New York Times article pointed out that this had been in the making for some time: How Obama Tapped Into Social Networks? Power
In February 2007, a friend called Marc Andreessen, a founder of Netscape and a board member of Facebook, and asked if he wanted to meet with a man with an idea that sounded preposterous on its face. Mr. Andreessen agreed to hear the guy out. A junior member of a large and powerful organization with a thin, but impressive, r?sum?, he was about to take on far more powerful forces in a battle for leadership.
He wondered if social networking, with its tremendous communication capabilities and aggressive database development, might help him beat the overwhelming odds facing him. And as it turned out, President-elect Barack Obama was right.
Now it is time for the transition from DotCom to DotGov. In particular Obama’s new website is change.gov. As might be expected it includes a blog. It seems quite clear that at least in the political field grassroots leadership is being adopted with vigor.