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2022: A Very Expone ntial Year
David Morey -- Dedicated to Helping Companies Win David Morey -- Dedicated to Helping Companies Win
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Monday, January 2, 2023


2022: A Very Expone ntial Year

Vladimir Lenin once declared: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

2022 was a year where decades happened. It was a very exponential year.

Over thirty years, in advising over twenty-two winning global presidential campaigns, we’ve learned there are two kinds of elections: linear and exponential. For that matter, there are two kinds of change: linear and exponential. And it turns out 2022 was a very exponential year: Slowly escaping the world’s worst global pandemic in a century, global economic and supply chain meltdown, and the unprecedented invasion of the Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. Exponential change was in the air. And there are three additional reasons to spot the patterns of this kind of big-epoch change.

First, US President Joe Biden and the Democratic party waged an unpredictably impressive comeback—with Biden passing at least five historical pieces of legislation and his party beating back the cycles of past elections in holding the Senate and barely losing the House.

To be sure, America has a very long way to go to its 2024 presidential election. But 2022 was as good a year for Biden as it was a bad year for Trump, encircled by pending legal indictment threats and a continuing erosion of independent and even Republican support. Selling Trump trading cards represents a symbol of a string of bad ideas in a bad year.

Second, 2022 gave us three game changing elections in which underdogs won against remarkable odds.

  • On May 9th: 36 years after his father was forced out of power and out of the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. won the greatest number of votes by a presidential candidate in his nation’s history, the biggest margin of victory, the largest ethnic and geographic win, and the first presidential majority victory since 1998.
  • On October 30th: 77-year-old Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva—who spent 580 days in a Brazilian jail beginning in 2018—was elected President of Brazil in his nation’s closet voting contest ever. Lula becomes the first president of Brazil elected to three terms and the first candidate to unseat an incumbent president in Brazil’s history.
  • On November 24th, Malaysia’s King Yang di-Pertuan Agong swore in Anwar Ibrahim as the nation’s 10th prime minister after his party won a plurality of 82 seats out of 222—but short of the 112 seats needed for a majority. Prime Minister Ibrahim—who spent 8 years in jail on two separate convictions heavily criticized by global human rights groups as political motivated—quickly formed a still-fragile unity government with two-thirds support in Parliament.

All three candidates ran campaigns focused on unity, on economic recovery, and on change. And all three face significant challenges both domestically and globally—so watch these change leaders battle to drive further exponential change.

Finally, 2022 reminds us of the exponential power of leadership. This year, 99-year-old Henry Kissinger wrote one of his best books entitled simply: “Leadership”… historically unpacking “Six Studies in World Strategy”… Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Lee Kuan Yew, and Margaret Thatcher. Kissinger sums-up each leader’s point of strategic difference: Humility… Will… Equilibrium… Transcendence… Excellence… Conviction…

Kissinger’s summary of change leadership is simple: “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” And one leader, in 2022, did this and more and put to work many of Kissinger’s strategic imperatives—the man my friend Louis Perron calls the “Best Campaigner of the Year 2022”: Volodymyr Zelensky.

Under hard-to-imagine pressure, Zelensky re-imagined insurgent strategy and its execution. He summoned and placed onto the Ukrainian battlefield and into the global information system some combination of de Gaulle’s “Will” and Thatcher’s “Conviction”; and Zelensky has shown us all the power of fearless, authentic, simple, and disciplined leadership communications.

In essence, Zelensky has and continues to run an insurgent leadership campaign—aimed not only at his own people, but also on the global stage of potential allied support. This is a campaign with life or death on the line. An insurgent campaign. And, so far, an exponential campaign… in a very exponential year.

— David Morey

For more information go to: www.playoffense.com


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Group: Core Strategy Group
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