Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

What Brazil’s New President Faces

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 2, 2010

by Fernando Luzio for The Harvard Business Review, December 2nd, 2010.

Dilma Rousseff, the new president of Brazil, has become the first woman to achieve the highest position of the country. She is widely known for being workaholic, very efficient, rigorous, and, above all, she is not recognized as a charismatic leader — one of the most obvious talents of her predecessor President Lula.

Three aspects of this election stand out:

First, Dilma is an impressive case of succession planning. Lula decided to start planning his succession in January 1st, 2007, the first day of his second mandate. In March 2008, Lula convened his political marketeer João Santana and Dilma to present his overall plan of making Dilma his successor.

Second, Dilma demonstrates the effectiveness of a well-formulated and rigorously executed strategy. The presidential campaign was be the first political election undertaken by Dilma; she faced an experienced opponent, José Serra. Lula and his strategists crafted and implemented a meticulous plan. For example, they had Dilma accompany Lula in his trips and inaugurations, making her an iconic “right arm.” The challenge was huge. At first, opinion polls indicated that Dilma would achieve only 3% of valid votes. Less than three years later, Dilma was elected President with 56% of valid votes. (continue reading… )



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