Michelle Obama and the benefits of leverage
"Every day, across this country, so many women wake up every day and try -- using everything they have -- to make life a little better for others; I feel hopeful." – Said during a national gathering of Democratic women. " Michelle Obama is a powerful, and driven individual with a plan. Her campaign to reduce obesity has reached hundreds of schools, and celebrities such as Beyonce have chipped in with popular theme songs and other interesting additions, which make it popular among the masses. She has even danced on popular television talk shows, and her popularity among the public is reportedly 63% whereas her husband, the president, get 48% of the votes. From Ellen DeGeneres to Jimmy Kimmel, and television talk shows such as “The View”, Obama has put herself firmly in front of the public eye, thereby adding to her already considerable leverage among the public. She is evidently a First Lady who is aware of her immense power and influence, but does not take it for granted. Obama’s public image has, in many ways, favored the manner in which the public perceives her. She is open minded and wears her heart and feelings on her sleeve, and is not afraid of hitting back at hecklers who unnecessarily interfere with her public speaking events. Her public persona has softened over the years, and she has made a conscious attempt to listen to critics. It is not as if the voice of the critics would ever serve to dislodge her from her position of power, however what is noteworthy is the manner in which she has displayed humility in the light of it, and has worked on improving her attitude. Once considered loud, brash, and harsh, Obama now comes across as sensitive, emphatic, and most amiable. She recently spoke about youth violence at a downtown fundraising luncheon, which was attended by over 800 business owners and civic leaders. With emotion and empathy, she brought forward the alarming increase in gun violence among young people, and highlighted the need for measures to be taken to reduce it. Her initiative was estimated to cost $50-million. Needless to say, one of the benefits of her leverage comes in the form of quick resources and funds, which naturally facilitate the development of an effective movement. For an individual without leverage to attain the scale and impact that Michelle Obama has achieved, is close to impossible. She has the benefit of ready and willing resources, administrative support, and credibility, which has already resulted in the success of her “Lets Move!” campaign, along with the “Joining Forces” initiative which supports US war veterans in need. It is predicted that her most recent initiative against gun violence will be promoted widely among her chosen target group, and will see far more impact than other campaigns. It is hoped that Obama’s leverage will continue to positively impact the campaigns and causes, which she has chosen to endorse. Obama is jokingly compared with Oprah Winfrey due to her rising popularity and ability to influence public opinion. She is already regarded as being a rare First Lady thanks to her hands on approach to issues, and willingness to be seen as “one of the public”. Obama’s leverage is an example of how great power and a greater sense of responsibility can serve to facilitate positive public change in society.