The Romney campaign has been a smooth-running, flawless manufacturing operation for years. All systems go.

What Romney lacked in South Carolina, however, is the same thing that many change leaders lack. The failure to tap into an emotional vein.

A CNN political pundit put it well when he said, “You can serve a mayonnaise sandwich on a silver tray – but it still has no taste.”

That’s exactly what happened to Mitt Romney in South Carolina. Information alone won’t result in change. Compliance is not commitment.

As author Rick Mauer puts it so eloquently in his book Beyond the Wall of Resistance, “The myth is: All I need to do is tell them…but what many leaders miss is that just giving people facts and figures doesn’t cut it.” To make a case for change, people need to feel the heat of the burning platform.

Simply put, people don’t make decisions on data and information alone. They want passion.

Contrary to Romney, Newt Gingrich might be boot-strapping his campaign together, but he clearly understands the critical importance of emotional appeal.

For any initiative to be successful, whether it’s organizational change or a political campaign, people must feel a sense of urgency and have emotional momentum. Otherwise, you just have an empty sandwich.

The third and most important hurdle is trust. While information and emotion count, trust is critical. Without it a leader is paralyzed. It will be interesting to watch which candidate can truly capture the trust of Republican voters.

Now… Who’s hungry?

 

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