Monday, January 07, 2008

The L Factor

I'm a political junkie. I watch all the cable shows. Read the daily blogs. Named my dog C-SPAN. :-) I won't ever join the fray because I know just how much of a bloody business it is and even the most honest politician has some dirty birds clucking in the bushes.

So as I'm watching the tremendous groundswell of support that Barack Obama (D) and Mike Huckabee (R) are enjoying lately, I keep hearing this phrase used as the reason:
"It's his likeability factor."

I couldn't agree more. If our society obsesses over celebrity, it's only natural that our leaders would be chosen more for their personal appeal than for their experience or position papers. A friend who works for a prominent pollster told me that their research shows that "Hillary will never be elected President--most people secretly don't want to look at that face or hear that voice every day for four years?!?"

Nothing can justify a superficial decision-making process...but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The truth is that is happens all too often. My belief is that if you're aspiring to a leadership position in any field, you need to be aware of your own "likeability factor."

Tim Sanders has a terrific book on the subject (which isn't exactly a revelation: people who are well liked are more apt to get what they want out of life than those who are disliked.) However, according to, Sanders does offer a valuable look at the four personality traits he says contribute to a person's likability—namely, friendliness, relevance (do you connect on interests or needs?), empathy and "realness" (genuineness or authenticity).

Check it out HERE. It's a Puzzle Principle trait worth focusing on.

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