Powell endorses Obama

posted by Jeff | Monday, October 20, 2008, 12:27 AM | comments: 10

"Because of [Obama's] ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of this campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities -- we have to take that into account -- as well as his substance -- he has both style and substance -- he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president," Powell said.

"I think we need a transformational figure," Powell said. "I think we need a president who is a generational change, and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama -- not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. McCain."


I think he absolutely nailed the reason I'll vote for the guy in a way I couldn't articulate. I'm still pissed I couldn't see the guy speak when I was in college because you had to be a Republican fundraiser type to get in. (Fucking Ashland. :))


Iceracer, October 20, 2008, 7:41 AM #

Powell's statement referring to the need for a leader who will bring a generational change reflects his understanding of the world we live in today. A world, interestingly, he foresaw over ten years ago and briefly discussed in the final pages of his book My American Journey. It is indeed a shame you missed the opportunity to hear Powell speak in person. He is his own man, as I believe Barack is. I saw and heard Obama when he was in Cleveland and he does have both style and substance, well beyond the rhetorical gift which allows him to communicate his message to those open and willing to listen.

Eric, October 20, 2008, 4:40 PM #

I was struck by Powell's comment on the need for a transformational leader. My doctoral dissertation deals with transformational leaders, so this is a subject I am truly familiar with.

I have some concerns related to transformational leaders. The foundation of transformational leadership is equal parts charisma and empowerment. Obama's got the charisma, but can he empower the right people and can he guide these people toward a transforming change that will benefit us all?

Big questions for big times.

However, even with these concerns when I go vote Wednesday (I will be on Hawaii on election day) I will be voting for Obama.

Jeff, October 20, 2008, 5:45 PM #

Is your dissertation posted somewhere? More importantly, does it have an executive summary? :)

Eric, October 20, 2008, 5:53 PM #

My dissertation is not complete yet, so no place to locate it online. I expect to be done late Spring early Summer 2009.

Until then I am Eric ABD instead of Eric PhD. :)

Here's the 10 cent version from my prospectus:

Title: Leadership Practice of Line Managers during Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Problem Statement: The problem is line managers of REDACTED are not prepared for the complex requirements of leading through business process outsourcing (BPO). Business process outsouring has recenly emerged as a common corporate process. However, research related to leadership through BPO is limited.

Theoretical Framework: Business process outsourcing requires the cooperation of all stakeholders to be successful. Bass suggested transactional leadership is the primary leadership style of line managers. Transactional leaders emphasize process, task, and compliance. They rely heavily on an organizational reward and punishment system to drive performance. Transformational leaders acknowledge the affect of including the interests of followers as well as those of the leader and the organization. Transformational leaders work to inspire followers to transcend self-interest for the good of the group or organization.

Goal/Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative study is to understand leadership practice and style among line managers within current BPO. By understanding leadership practice and style, the goal of this research is to isolate a best deminstrated practice for line managers to successfully lead through business process outsourcing.

Jeff, October 20, 2008, 6:48 PM #

So basically, the idea is that effective leaders see all parties as stakeholders who share responsibility in the outcome, yes? Is that over-simplifying?

If so, I think that's a solid observation and a good way to run things. I've seen it work in teams that I've been a part of. What I'd be unsure of is how that can scale to something like a president of an enormous nation like ours. Some stakeholders are disinterested, and can bring down the "project," so to speak.

Iceracer, October 20, 2008, 9:52 PM #

Regarding Obama's ability to empower the right people and guiding same toward transforming change I would suggest one need only look at the amazing success of his Presidential campaign to date.

Eric, October 20, 2008, 10:37 PM #

You've got the idea.
Simple is best.

You would be surprised (maybe not) at how few leaders actually bother checking with the stakeholders. Most talk of stakeholders is just that, talk.

Transformational leaders "transform" their organizations through application of four basic constructs: inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, idealized influence, and intellectual stimulation.

, October 20, 2008, 11:33 PM #

So funny to see all of you swooning over comments made by Colin Powell. This is the same man who LIED to the U.N Security Council to drag us into an endless war that has cost us 4,000+ American lives and billions of dollars.

If I were going to vote for Obama, it certainly would not be on account of this man's testimonial.

Eric, October 21, 2008, 1:50 AM #

I don't see anyone swooning here.

Did you see Colin Powell on Meet the Press?
If you did, you would know Tom Brokaw asked him about that specific incident.

His response (to paraphrase) was he was speaking to the information he had at the time.

I am not saying the information was correct, only that it is what he had.

Notice when it came out that the data was incorrect and no further data was available, he resigned.

Jeff, October 21, 2008, 2:43 AM #

I think his resignation spoke volumes at the time about what he thought about the whole thing. I absolutely don't think the guy is stupid or a liar.

Stakeholder interest and involvement is key to successful software implementation, so it's a cause near and dear to me. It's also rare, which is probably why so many projects fail.

Post your comment: