The completion of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions reminds us that a compelling message eloquently delivered has the power to motivate the masses.
Yes, rhetoric is important. It has the ability to crystalize complex ideas into digestible messages that create focus. It inspires people to take action. And in the case of the convention speeches, strong rhetoric galvanizes the base while opening the door for the undecided to give a candidate a second look.
When you think about it, there is a lot that organizational leaders can learn from the amazing examples of rhetoric we witnessed during the respective conventions. Consider
- Bill Clinton’s ability to make facts come to life
- Clint Eastwood’s courage to take a risk (even if you think that it didn’t work)
- Michelle Obama’s connection with her audience
- Susana Martinez’s connection with her audience
- President Obama’s humility that genuinely touched the crowd
- Mitt Romney’s clarity of focus
The list could go on, but there is something to learn from watching the performances in large, important venues.
But, rhetoric isn’t results.
The skill required to connect with an audience that already loves your message isn’t enough to deliver results in a world where not everyone shares your views.
Elections are won based on vision, likability, and perceived trust, and yes, rhetoric. These same factors will earn you the right to have your ideas considered by people in your organization.
Results are produced by:
- Clear and competent strategies that make a vision come alive
- Disciplined execution
- The ability to build cooperation and working relationships with those who hold a different perspective and agenda
In today’s media driven world, the delivery of the message is part of the message. But, stirring rhetoric isn’t results.
Amazing rhetoric makes for interesting water cooler and Facebook conversation. Amazing results makes for legendary leadership. For which would you rather be known?