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Would Obama Be a Good Tour Guide?

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 96

On my business trip to Beijing, China, I took a couple of half day tours to see some of the famous tourist attractions the city has to offer. On one of these excursions, our tour guide was Lisa (English names make it easier for everybody to communicate). We saw the Forbidden city, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. They were all beautiful places, however, at the end most of us wished we saw them under different circumstances.

It started out with the confusion of who is taking our tour versus another one. As the buses collect the tourists in the morning, they pick everybody up from each hotel regardless of their destination. At one point they meat up and sort it out who goes where. Lisa forgot to discuss this with us so as the tourists asked each other what their destination was they started panicing and asking her questions. That is when she realized she had forgotten something.

Half of our group was tourists from different parts of China, the other half a very diverse group of people from all around the world. Lisa started complaining from the beginning that it will be very difficult for her to handle the situation.

As we started touring the Forbidden city, Lisa provided very little information regarding what we were seeing. She kept rushing ahead and made faces if someone got behind. Then some people started missing. Others in the group helped out so those can find the group again. As she got angry, she started complaining and tried to blame those who could not find the group. She communicated even less with the group as her resentment grew. As it was less obvious what the plan was, people started to get separated from the group even more. Sometimes we had to wait twenty minutes or more before we could get reunited. As the cycle got worse and worse she did not try to change her method, instead, she started blaming more people. She turned the Chinese half of the group against the foreigners, as she convinced them that it was all their fault. It may have seen like a legitimate reason except more and more "Chinese friends" started missing as well. I could also compare the situation to tours that I took on previous days. I do not remember a single person ever missing. I learned a lot about what I was seeing and never even felt rushed.

On the way back to the hotel! I was thinking how bad of a leader she was. After all, her primary job was to lead us through these famous places so that we have a problem free, nice day. She certainly failed every leadership attributes that exist.

Every good leader knows that communication is very important. Good leaders do not blame others, since they know that 99% of problems are their fault. Instead, they inspire, unite and adopt as circumstances change.

As I thought about how Lisa could have done a better job, I realized how similar these issues are to what we are facing in the US. President Obama came in as a person who will make everything better. However, as time went by and the economy did not improve, he started blaming everybody else for it. It was the Tsunami, the Arab Spring, Europe, the republicans, etc. just like Lisa, the president did not and could not change course. Instead he is setting up a stronger and stronger rhetoric to divide the population along racial, gender and economic lines.

So my answer to the question is a resounding no. Obama would be a terrible tour guide just like Lisa would be a terrible president. Even though on a different scale but the same leadership principles apply in both cases. The lack of those qualities lead to disastrous results. Although I can always just go back to Beijing and revisit those places. However, unlike the tour, millions of Americans cannot get their lost opportunities, their lost dreams back. Mr. President you should have practiced on a smaller group first like a small group of tourists.

On the way back to our hotels, Lisa handed out evaluation forms, that her company requires. It allows the tourists to give feedback on the experience they had. As Lisa handed out the forms she stood over every person, one by one and demanded that we all included a positive feedback regarding her performance. We all cowered and followed her demands rather than face the uncomfortable consequences. This election we will also have a chance to give a feedback to Mr. Obama. First of all I hope nobody will be looking over our shoulder and telling us what to say on the ballot. Secondly, I hope that we will have more courage and we will really tell the President what we think about his performance.

Source: EzineArticles
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