October 2011

Herman Cain…BOO!

Nothing Like A Good Scare To Prove Your CEO-ness

Imagine you were Herman Cain this Halloween morning, carefully culling through your closet and pushing past the skeletons.  Hmmm...what to be?  Reckless workplace ghoul or aggrieved upstanding politician?  Those seemed to be the options dangling before the presidential hopeful in the wake of a breaking Politico news exclusive suggesting past employee harassment.  To be sure, these are very serious charges for everyone involved that need to be delicately probed.  But while all may suddenly seem eerily gruesome inside the campaign, there are a few pieces of advice I can offer Team Cain that can help them manage this PR crisis.

Kerry’s Avatar 2: Why Republicans are Nervous about Romney

Applying Bill OReillys 2004 Logic To 2012

A new poll is out from CBS / NYT and it has some eye-popping data.  It shows President Obama sitting atop remarkably solid approval ratings of 46%.  It also has Congress coming in at an abysmal 9%.  Herman Cain has rocketed to the front of the Republican field, registering numbers at 25% -- up from just 5% a month ago.  Unfolding mostly as I'd forecast in an earlier post, Rick Perry has fallen from 23% last month to 6%.  That's lower than Congress.

Hey, Tony La Russa! Repeat After Me!

Baseball Managers Communications Blunder Easily Avoidable

It has to be a baseball manager's worst nightmare-come-true.  It’s Game 5 of the World Series.  The score is tied at two going into the eighth inning.  The world is watching as Tony La Russa – legendary manager and bullpen maestro – trots out one wrong reliever after another leading to an embarrassing 4-2 St. Louis loss to the Texas Rangers.  Every time La Russa signaled to the bullpen for a new arm, another unexpected pitcher ambled out to the mound.  At one point, La Russa gestured for a right-hander thinking it would be Jason Motte but instead, out came Lance Lynn who was only slated to appear under emergency circumstances.  The fabled manager reportedly took one look at the approaching Lynn and asked, “Why are you here?”

Is Mitt Romney John Kerry’s Avatar?

The Republican Hopeful Must Close the Enthusiasm Gap

Coalition leadership is hard to win and harder to hold.  Just ask Mitt Romney.  Despite his steadfast determination to get to the front of his pack, the former Massachusetts governor seems to have a steel ceiling resting on his head that is making it hard for him to move up.  Even as Herman Cain has surged in the polls of late, his rise has been mostly proportional to Governor Perry’s fall.  NBC analyst Chuck Todd pointed out that a mid-October NBC / Wall Street Journal showed Cain 27%, Romney 23%, and Perry 16%.  Todd added that the month before Perry was at 38% to Romney’s 23%, and Cain’s 5% (note that if you add Perry and Cain both times you get 43%).

President Obama's Week Ahead

Schedule for Week of October 24, 2011

Here are some of the things the President will be doing this week (note Leno Show taping on Tuesday):

On Monday, the President will travel to Las Vegas to make remarks on the American Jobs Act. He will also participate in a campaign event while in Las Vegas. In the evening, the President will participate in campaign events in Los Angeles and spend the night there.

Request as a Speaker

Leadership Lessons From The Campaign Trail

Step inside campaign headquarters for an unprecedented glimpse of what it's like to work in the hothouse atmosphere of a national presidential campaign. Henry De Sio was the 2008 Obama for America Chief Operating Officer and it is against the backdrop of this historic campaign that he offers compelling lessons on leadership sure to captivate entrepreneurs, innovators, and executives across all sectors. Henry brings his unique brand of pace, purpose, and passion to every speaking engagement -- telling the story of building President Obama's cutting-edge campaign operation from a seedling startup in the earliest days to the nearly $1 billion powerhouse enterprise it became.

Henry is available for domestic and international speaking engagements beginning in the new year. He customizes every conversation to meet the specific interests of his prospective audiences. His lessons from the campaign trail on winning and success are invaluable for business professionals, advocates, and political campaigners alike. 

Book Henry Now                    Read About a Past Event

How Leadership & Organization Propelled Obama 2008

A Campaign Without Borders

I recently gave a talk in Old Town Alexandria that I call, "Leadership Lessons from the Campaign Trail."  Against the backdrop of my experience as the 2008 COO at Obama for America, I discussed the management takeaways that the executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators in my audiences typically find compelling.  Giving these talks is just about the coolest thing I do lately.  One reason I enjoy them so much is that I get to debunk two of the most common myths about why we won. 

Dead Man Sleepwalking

Rick Perry Needs A Quick Leadership Makeover

In yesterday’s Soapbox, I opined that Governor Perry’s weak performance at Tuesday night’s debate would open the door for the Republican race to become a Romney versus Cain affair.  Well, new polling is out and the political world is abuzz with the news that Herman Cain is now atop the field.  And while there is still time for Captain Perry to right his ship, the candidate must first confront his own leadership failures even before he tackles the likely problems swirling within his campaign crew. 

Perry Needs A Course Correction, Fast!

Downhill Is Not the Way to Victory

Veteran Republican strategist Mike Murphy had this to tweet about last night's debate in Hanover, New Hampshire:

"Scorecard: Strong Mitt, weak Perry. Good format, but Charlie wobbled. Hunts better, Newt too. But nobody saw it. Nothing changes."

Here's where I disagree with Mike.  There was an audience for this debate.  It was the big donors and grassroots activists.  And something will change for Rick Perry.  Money will slow and volunteer energy will be drawn somewhere else.  That's because Perry turned in another “tired” performance.  In fact, he just keeps getting worse with every outing.  That seems obvious even to the candidate himself.  “Debates are not my strong suit," Perry told reporters following the event.