Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America from January 2009 to January 2017 and is the first African-American to sit in that exalted position. He was born on August 4, 1961in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961 and served as Senator representing the State of Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Prior to his serving in the U.S. Senate, he was in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004. His father, Barack Obama Sr was born in Kenya and married his fellow student, Ann Dunham on February 2, 1961. Barack Obama Jr was born a few months after and some years later, his parents were divorced. I will be reviewing some of the outstanding leadership qualities that have endeared him to millions of Americans even after he has left public office.
One of the strengths of Barack Obama is his ability to influence people with his speaking skills. This is a leadership quality that he exhibited before, during and after his stint in public office as President of the United States. He came onto the national political scene and was in the race for President in 2008. It was very obvious that it was very easy for him to move the crowd and this led to his victor at the elections. At various points during his tenure, he was able to achieve many of his goals as President because of his remarkable ability to move people in a particular direction. Even though he faced a lot of resistance from the opposition, he was able to successfully get certain key legislations passed in the
area of healthcare and education. He is a great influencer and has been described as having great oratorical skills. Obviously, being a good communicator would attract a lot of followers that would support a vision and Barack Obama enjoyed such. When he ran for President, he came with the campaign slogan 'CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN' and he believed in his vision so much and was able to sell it to millions of Americans. It became the slogan on the lips of so many people and this led to his victory. He was totally convinced about his mission and pursued it without reservation. In his policy decisions and stand on major issues, he never did anything unless he was convinced about it.
Another leadership quality that he exhibited was his desire to work as a team. He did not only work with a team bit always recognized them in his speeches, acknowledging them for his successes. From his speeches, you will observe that he always used 'We' instead of 'I' and this is a good way of engaging your listeners. When people feel that their efforts are recognized, they always seem to want to do more. He must have understood human nature and used it in achieving several laudable projects during his tenure. He always gave his team members a sense of ownership.
Barack Obama was also a risk taker. Most successful leaders are risk takers and they do not play it safe but take calculated risks. People in general are afraid of losing or making mistakes and as such, there are rarely very successful in their endeavours. They prefer to stick to what they are used to in their professional, work or business life rather taking any risks. Barrack was advised by some friends and family members not to join the presidential race but he decided to risk everything and joined and it is important to note that prior to this time, no black man had ever been President of the United States. Trusting his guts, he stepped out and eventually won convincingly. He has been a risk taker and most times, it paid off for him and it does pay off for anyone who is able to assess risks properly and do what nobody might have done before. One major
achievement he had as Commander-in-Chief in the United States was the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the infamous terrorist who had been on the wanted list of the country for a very long time. He assessed the risks and gave the approval for the invasion and it paid off quite well. He is a high achiever and has always been known as one who was never satisfied with any achievement. He is said to always turn one ending into another beginning for the next assignment. He is always ready to get back to work immediately after celebrating a past victory. In this way, he is always able to keep the momentum going and motivating people to start off a new project with ease.
This great leader is also a man with a Vision and this has kept him going on and on. It is obvious that from the beginning, he had an idea of where he was headed to in life. He had been a grassroots politician and was involved in several community events where he was able to interact with Americans at all levels. He lived a life of integrity and honesty as he rose in the political arena and this helped him on his journey to the White House. Leaders must be visionary because without a picture of the future, they would be unable to convince people to follow them. His success in the presidential elections had a lot to do with his grassroots connection and he was also known to make the right decisions and act on them quickly. This is also another leadership trait that helped him in his position as President. Barack Obama was very good at handling conflicts which involved him or others. When it was targeted at him, he always seemed to keep his eyes on the big picture and never allowed himself to be distracted. It was said that when faced with certain difficult challenges, he usually turned to prayer. He was one who always took responsibility for his actions regardless of the outcome. He never allowed members of his team to be on the line of fire or take the blame for collective decisions made by his administration.
These are interesting leadership qualities and you will do well to imbibe those which you think are lacking in your life.