White House Fire and Ice

Posted 11.12.2008

For all of us leadership geeks it doesn’t get much better than watching the presidential transition unfold.  There are so many moments to observe (e.g. this week’s White House meeting between the Bushes and the Obamas) and so many strategies to analyze.

As an example of strategic analysis, my colleague, John Baldoni, offers an interesting take on President-elect Obama’s selection of Congressman Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.  If Obama’s temperament is ice (see the current issue of Newsweek for an in-depth look at the consistency of Obama’s approach over the past two years), then Emanuel’s is fire (check out this Slate article for the background).  John makes the great point that leaders need to be intentional in selecting their key team members and avoid the mistake of hiring solely in their own image. 

If you haven’t seen it, take a look at this clip of Obama calling out Emanuel at a charity roast a few years ago.  Pretty funny stuff.  They should be an interesting team to watch.