Reading time: 3 - 4 minutes
Video Time: 58 minutes 21 seconds
What I really enjoy about politics, when it works, is that it’s a lot like a small business in that it’s essentially about people seeking solutions for a variety of issues at hand every single day. At least that’s the case when our political leaders are actually “working” and not politicking, which, of course lends itself to a whole different group of challenging skill sets including public speaking and persuasion. . .again, skills critical skills for any business leader.
So, in the spirit of learning, and with politics aside, let’s take a quick look at former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair. As with every feature on LunchLearning.com, Mr. Blair’s, we find offers up many opportunities for continued learning. His communication and presentation skills are, without question, top-notch, and his ability to move a mass of people (both in favor and in opposition) behind a goal is almost legendary. And yet even in light of these talents he has also suffered great setbacks, and what some would consider a lengthy fall from grace. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, his effect on government or the current status of the general populace’s admiration for him, there is no doubt Tony Blair has achieved a level of success worth looking into.
In this discussion with representatives from Yale University, Mr. Blair addresses questions on his policies, his path to office, and the challenges of the world today. There are TONS of lessons for business in this talk. Listen and enjoy.
Things to look out for in this talk with Tony Blair:
- How to position your argument in a way that makes sense even to someone who might disagree with you.
- Notice his awareness of both his panelist colleagues as well as his seating audience.
- Notice how he pauses before addressing serious questions. . .planned or not. . .this is a very powerful way to demonstrate reflection when answering a question. This is one of Blair’s strengths as as speaker and it’s possessed also by other great speakers like Reagan, Churchill, Obama and yes, Clinton.
- Every business owner and leader has to make tough strategic decisions. Mr. Blair’s response to the difficulty posed in not being able to please everyone is worth watching beginning at: 22:10 through 28:37.
- Keep in mind the tendency these days of political leaders to leverage their exposure for passions of which they can pursue free of *some* political encumbrances. Rather than sitting on our laurels when we’re done with business. . .ask “what’s next?” And keep going!
- And, of course, his sheer diplomacy in addressing the last question of the conversation: Who’s better? The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. Brilliant.