January 20, 2009
What a day! President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. This will be a day that will go down in history as an inflection day. Today is a day when the United States and the world changes course and move in a new direction.
Yes President Obama is the first African American to become President and that is a truly momentous event given the history of race in American. There is no question that this is an event that not only moves America to the next stage of racial harmony but also signals that fact to the world. It can not be overstated that this achievement opens a new chapter for a country whose democracy stands for equality under the law with freedom and justice for all. The symmetry with Dr. King’s birthday cannot be overstated.
Expectations and optimism lead to new beginnings. For those who think the world will change, it will. Change can be profound and incremental. Many think that the euphoria will wear off and things will return to partisanship and bureaucracy. To some degree they will be right. It is important to keep in mind how even small changes can move individuals and countries in totally new directions.
Motivational and self help gurus talk about how if someone just makes a 10% change in effort or direction each year, that in several years they will be in an entirely different place living an entirely different life. Well it is quite clear that President Obama, his leadership and administration will set a course of change from his predecessor that is significantly greater than 10%. That means that in four years America will be a vastly different place than it is today. This directional vector will point the country, and therefore to some degree the world toward a future that will be much brighter and different.
I have consistently written and spoken to the point that historians in 2025 will look back at the period 2005-2012 as the time that the world moved from the Information Age to the Shift Age. These future historians will point to the Inauguration of Barack Obama as one of the most significant markers of this transition. Welcome to both a new day and a new Age.