In business, as in politics, it is wise to build for seismic events. The terror attacks in Paris, for instance, required a flexibile response from The White House that was largely lacking.

Conservative columnist, Ron Fournier says, “For all his skills as an orator, Obama is a lousy com­mu­nic­at­or. He doesn’t lead, he lec­tures. He ar­gues rather than edu­cates.”

I am a big fan of the President, yet I see merit in Fournier’s points (primarily because Obama’s discourse is too weighty for a media world consisting of little more than sound bites). I also see what the President’s tone deafness following Paris means for the business of persuasion, in general.

One thing we know by now…facts do not move people to buy, or to believe. It would be wonderful if presenting the facts did the job, but the facts alone rarely do the trick without also appealing to people on a base, or emotional, level.

The fact is bacon is bad for our health. The fact is we still love bacon. Real and long-lasting persuasion requires a trip to the farm, and then another to the butcher.

The fact is American boots on the ground in Syria is not a good plan. The fact is Western powers need to eliminate murderous idealogues who strike indiscriminately in the heart of our cities.

It has been reported that President Obama’s foreign policy strategy is, “Don’t Do Stupid Shit.” I like that, and I like POTUS holding firm in the wake of some other peoples’ stupid shit. But too firm is not good—too firm turns an otherwise solid foundation into mush.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.

Category

Life of the Mind, Politics