Obama’s State of the Union – Rate the President’s Shift IQ (SQ)

During President Obama’s State of the Union (SOTU), I suggest you pay attention with a different lens. Evaluate his message through the vantage point of an Advantage-Maker. This is not a political partisan rating but an independent view of the state of his advantage-making. Rate President Obama’s Shift IQ.

Advantage-Makers are strategic shifters. They interact with the world differently. In the face of constraints they consistently create superior outcomes. Their task is to shift the odds in our favor. This capacity to strategically shift is the hallmark of Advantage-Makers and advantage-making. To deal with constraints advantage-makers have high Shift IQ’s (SQ).

This ability to shift is what amounts to a secret or hidden code of advantage-making, and is made from 5 dimensions. These dimensions are the levers to shift the odds in our favor.
Shift IQ (SQ)
As you listen to the Presidents speech, start with the constraints: the hand he was dealt with the Great Recession and the International crisis and Wars. Rate him along these five dimensions:
1) Shifting Questions – does he accept the givens or question the givens? Does he see what others don’t see? Shifting options provide us with options often overlooked rather than just following the known procedures. Does Obama illustrate what we tend to miss or overlook and suggest practical solutions? Does he frame the argument differently from the same old same old to make us feel once again, Yes We Can and Yes We Will?
2) Shifting Time – does he establish the right time frame for urgency and patience? Shifting time create possibilities where most people only repeat what they’ve done in the past. Does he make the case how past decisions have limited our options? Does he ask us for patience on ridding ourselves of the old systems that have failed us while he urges us to take specific action now to make a better today and tomorrow?  Does he show us how to make the most of the forces at play? There is no time like to present to create the future.
3) Shifting Interaction – does he change the game we are playing. Both over the past year and his interactions with the Republicans. Is he demonstrating his ability to rapidly adapt to the political and economic forces at play? Shifting interactions changes the game. Does Obama shift from an attempt at a bipartisan approach to one that demonstrates there is a new game in town that will make a difference in the midst of the worst recession America has ever experienced? Does some of what he suggests question convention, proposing a different game, that is neither right or left? Does he stand tall and demonstrate command presence in the face of his enemies?
4) Shifting Perception – Does he influence us that we are going in the right direction with the proper course corrections that are involved in any change effort? Shifting perception influences outcomes. Does he admit mistakes and learn from it and engage us to learn? How do we feel about ourselves, our futures in the presence of our chosen President after his first year in office? Does he inspire our behavior to achieve the agenda for America’s recovery?
5) Shifting Structure – Structure shapes behavior. Is the President establishing a winning game, is he positioning us to win? Have we fallen prey to a failing structure in Congress and what does the President have to say about it? Does he make the hard decision?  Has the President set the stage for a structural solution that will gain momentum and move us forward? Do you hear how we will advance rather than go back to old ways that haven’t and don’t work?
We need Advantage-Makers in the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives to shift the economic and political playing field. It is their job to get it right. We looked to them, with our input as a democracy to do the right thing.
Listen for the Shift IQ of our President in his State of the Union and rate
On a scale of 1—–10 how effective at shifting the question
On a scale of 1—–10 how effective at shifting time
On a scale of 1—–10 how effective at shifting interactions
On a scale of 1—–10 how effective at shifting perceptions
On a scale of 1—–10 how effective at shifting structures
Advantage-makers use the 5 strategic shifts as levers to achieve higher results. Difficulties become easier, complex things become simpler, things that seem too slow get done quicker, and we can enjoy the fruits of our labor – we have more fun doing it.
The state of Obama’s ability to shift America 
The State of the Union will be revealed. The state of Obama’s ability to shift America will also be on the line. In past blogs I have indicated that Obama is an Advantage-Maker. From my studies we can see that Advantage-makers are not perfect. They make mistakes, but they learn faster, use failure as feedback to course correct, make new connections, and get more out of the information and experiences they engage in. We want America and our President to succeed. We will be at a great disadvantage if he and we don’t create superior outcomes in the face of the constraints we face. Just as I believe we are stronger today than we were one year ago, it will take President Obama’s advantage-making skills and together we will make our nation better and stronger.