Thursday, March 18, 2010

About Power & Influence

America might not know how to solve it’s health care problems, but it certainly puts on quite a show !

Like many others I’ve been watching the politics around health care unfold as President Obama tries to get everyone to push in one direction. I’m no expert on the actual merits of the health care bill, but I do find it fascinating to see how Obama – the President – is finding it so hard to push through his agenda. One would imagine that being the president he should be able to do something which he believes in so passionately, but of course it is not that simple – power does not automatically get you influence.

With power comes visibility, scrutiny, suspicion, and even jealousy. In today’s era of media and web coverage, every more, every nuance, every utterance is analyzed ad nauseum. Experts crop up from all over giving their opinions on every possible angle of everything you try to do – counter experts emerge, commenting on the opinions and analysis of the experts, and pretty soon the debate takes on a life of its own – often at the expense of the core issue.

The more power you have, the more suspicious people become of how you use it, and the more difficult it becomes to actually exercise that power. And so, paradoxically, more power can sometimes mean less influence.

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