Leadership Lessons and Faux Pas from the DNC

Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC motivated people across the country. If you had no preconceived notions about Hilary Clinton, then Michelle’s speech would encourage you to check her out. Like the RNC, we have the opportunity to learn several lessons on leadership and a faux pas or two from the democratic convention.

When Michelle Obama walked onto the stage, she set a tone for every other speaker to follow. She pointed forward to the opportunities we have as a nation to do more and more to improve our nation. She encouraged the high ground against the vitriol and rhetoric of their Republican opponents, and she stood with class as she focused on the positive principles Hillary represents instead of defending against her negative image.

Sadly, the inspiration she brought to the stage wasn’t followed by the other speakers on the platform. Some used their time on stage to reciprocate the vitriol and rhetoric of the RNC, they spent their time putting down their opponent instead of lifting up their nominee, and instead of showing organization against the chaos of the Republican party, they started their convention with more reasons to distrust their candidate through the failed leadership of the convention chair.

On the other hand, the DNC offered several lessons on leadership we should all give some thought.

  • They stayed on message. Much like the RNC, the Democrats had two primary messages. First, they promoted Hillary as the leader our nation needs, and second, they warned against the dangers of a Trump presidency. Unlike the RNC, they didn’t give rogues the opportunity to show disunity by letting everyone chase their own rabbit trails. Good leaders stay on message when they have the opportunity to chase other topics.
  • They demonstrated loyalty in adversity. Many, including me, consider Bernie Sanders a sellout for running on an anti-establishment platform and then throwing his support behind the most establishment candidate the DNC has presented in decades. Regardless, Bernie’s action demonstrate loyalty to the organization. Leaders should always demonstrate loyalty to their leaders and their organization.
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  • They celebrated progress. An important part of this election is the real possibility that we may have another historic election. Eight years ago we elected our first African-American President of the United States, and now we are on the cusp of having our first female President of the United States. Most of the speeches I heard through the DNC have pointed to the cracks in the glass ceiling Hillary’s nomination has made. Leaders know that the past is not always the best vision for the future. Look toward innovation, creativity, and progress in all areas.


Question: What other lessons can we take from the DNC? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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