Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Being Charming

President-elect Obama is getting some flack about being charming. I have even heard pundits tell us what he thinks of himself, as if they have had personal conversations with them.

Some pundits have said, "Obama thinks that his charm can get him anywhere." They have also said, "What he relies on most is his charm." Excuse me please, but how hell do they know such things? They don't! Furthermore, being charming is not a negative.

Tom Peters points out, the greatest among us have been charming especially in the midst of incredible odds and great feats. In a post, Ike Got It! and And Now for Something Completely the Same, Peters writes of the importance of charm as seen in General Dwight Eisenhower. He quotes from the book, Armchair General:

"Armchair General (May 2008) traces the origins of this mystical Eisenhower trait: 'Perhaps his most outstanding ability [at West Point] was the ease with which he made friends and earned the trust of fellow cadets who came from widely varied backgrounds; it was a quality that would pay great dividends during his future coalition command.'"

Peters continues quoting from the above:

"Ike somehow inspired people: civilians and ordinary soldiers of both nations, even cynical political figures and the always troublesome French. Something about his big grin; his long-limbed, loose American way of walking (the Kansas farm boy grown to a man); his easy, familiar way of speaking to everybody from King George VI down to privates in both armies; his lack of pretension; his evident sincerity ..."

Being charming is an asset, especially when you are brilliant, principled, and kind. President-elect Obama is in good company indeed.


Anonymous said...

Charming is a quality of a good orator - someone with charisma. If they had used the word charisma instead, they couldn't have spun it as negative. They are just trying to pick at him however they can.

judith ellis said...

Picking is never pretty or cute. But I do believe that there is more goodwill than ill.