Essay Sample Assessing and Analyzing the Leadership Style of President Obama

Published: 2019-06-14
Essay Sample Assessing and Analyzing the Leadership Style of President Obama
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Personality Leadership style Transformational leadership Barack Obama
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1459 words
13 min read

Barack Obama is the 44th and still the president of the U.S. He was born on 4th August 1961 in Honolulu town, Hawaii State. Before his political career and presidency, Obama was a teacher, community organizer, and a lawyer. In 1996, he was elected Illinois State Senator and later the U.S Senator in 2004. In 2008, he was elected as the U.S 44th president and won the 2012 re-election against Mitt Romney, his Republican Opponent (Winter, 2011). As the President of the United States, Obama has a number of State responsibilities. These include accounting for the countrys state, receiving foreign diplomats and ideas, calling Congress back to session, recommending measures to help fix problems of the country, and appointing the Countrys top officials.

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President Obamas Leadership Styles

The United States office of the president is multi-feted; hence, requires a number of different leadership styles. Barack Obama has strongly shown three major leadership styles since his election to the presidency. These include Transformational-charismatic, cross-cultural- global leadership, and Contingency leadership styles.

The transformational-charismatic leadership style of President Obama is uniquely depicted. Before his election, Barrack attracted foreigners and Americans attention in a charismatic nature. He possesses an uncanny gift for drawing people to his side and convincing them to help accomplish bigger achievements in leadership. This approach is distinctively transformational since it has invoked permanent change in the lives of those who embraced his vision. Through this leadership style, Obama was able to achieve a number of goals within his first a hundred days in office. These include expansion of childrens healthcare insurance, passing of a $787 billion to enhance short-term economic growth, new regulations for Wall Street, cutting of working-family taxes, and placing of the credit market and housing on life support (Winter, 2011).

The second leadership style of Obama is the Cross-Cultural-Global leadership. After his election to the presidency, Obama formulated a deep cross-cultural leadership approach to the whole world. He not only thought of the U.S interests but had other nations interests. For the first six months in office, Obama traveled several countries than any other president before him at that age of administration (Winter, 2011). During his travels, Barrack paid a lot of attention to the cultural norms in these areas he visited. After one year in office, he attempted to focus on reconciliation with Russia, Middle East and China and the whole world welcomed this earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. This leadership style strengthened many states while at the same time ensuring that Americas engagement in wars was kept on the check.

The last leadership style of President Obama is the Contingency leadership. During his first term in office, Obama responded to a number of sensitive situations using a variety of leadership models. In this approach, he modeled the contingency leadership style of management. During his travel to a number of countries, he listened first before speaking, and remained humble during the whole process. This enabled him to achieve the peaceful reconciliation goals that formed one of his top agendas in office. When he encountered the failing of automobile industry, he stood firm and called for the necessary changes without mincing words. This is depicted by the way he forced Chrysler and GM to accept the newly created MPG standards and turned down the long time commitment they had for NASCAR (Winter, 2011). Under the heat brought by the current economic and foreign troubles, his contingency plans enabled and still enables him to deliver his promises to Americans and the whole world.

Significant Challenges

Obama, just like any other leader, has faced a number of challenges in his time of leadership. One of the major challenges he faced was the domestic policies problems. He found himself struggling in 2013 due to the dispute over the Republican desire of derailing or defunding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This dispute caused the shut-down of the federal government for 16 days after which deal was later reached to end the shutdown (Lindsay, 2011). The ACA continued to experience opposition, more so, after the failed attempt to launch the website that was a means of helping people to find and access health insurance. The law was also a blame subject for the loss of other peoples existing insurance policies despite the Presidents assurance that such problems would not occur. Under mounting pressure, Obama found himself apologizing for these healthcare changes.

Secondly, Obama faced a number of international challenges. One of these is the grappling of the President with the international crisis of Syrias use of chemical weapon on its citizens. He described the Syrias action as a serious national threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable. However, his plan to persuade the Congress to embrace an action against the Syrian government backfired thus forming one of his major challenges (Lindsay, 2011).

The other challenge is the economic recession and the lowest rating of the U.S in terms of international favorability. When he took office, Obama campaigned on an extremely ambitious agenda of reinventing education, health care, alternative energy, and financial reforms while reducing the national debt. He believed that these agendas would be carried out simultaneously due to their intertwining economic nature. To achieve these goals, he had to sacrifice a lot, including his popularity with the Americans.

Obamas greatest achievement to date is the killing of Osama bin Laden and which ended the war in Iraq. In May 2011, Obama gave a green light to the covert operatives in Pakistan (Lindsay, 2011). This operation covered by the U.S Navy SEALs resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden, the famous al-Qaida leader. It was a great stride in the American history given the fact that this Al-Qaida leader orchestrated the 9/11 attack that left numerous losses including casualties who were mainly American civilians.

Leadership Concepts

The three leadership concepts attributed to Obama are the Know (tasks and jobs), Be (beliefs and characters) and Do (implementing and provision of direction). The Be concept relates to the professionalism, selfless performance, taking responsibilities and possession of good characteristics or trait. Obama has proven his competence and straightforwardness by pushing his agendas through, even when faced with heated opposition and challenges. This is depicted in the way he relentlessly fought for the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court later upheld. Other areas where he pushed for the accomplishment of his agendas include the signing of a nuclear deal with Iran, clean power plant establishment, and strategic killing of Osama bin Laden (Jacobs & King, 2010).

The Know leadership concept is depicted from the way a leader familiarizes himself with the job, his followers, and situations around him. For Obama to achieve his promises to the people of America and the world, he had to know the people to confront and those to ask for advice. Obama worked closely with the House of Representatives to ensure approval of spending cuts and tax increment to help avoid the crisis of fiscal cliff.

The Do concept is portrayed in the way he provided direction. Obama did this through goal setting, planning, communicating and implementation of his strategies. He established his agendas on how to lead the country immediately he entered the office. This can be seen from the approach he used to deliver the first hundred days in office promises (Jacobs & King, 2010). These leadership concepts are very effective since through them, Obama has been able to lead the United States effectively, and the results of his leadership are the living testimonies.

From my research, I learned some things about leadership. The first is that leadership entails a combination of various individual attributes to be effective. Secondly, in leadership, challenges are constantly present, and they help in strengthening one's approach to the achievement of the set goals. Moreover, to be an effective leader, one should be able to stand strong and defend his/her point of view provided it is sound. Lastly, leadership involves undertaking great sacrifices for the benefit of those who you serve as a leader.

The implications of this research for my personal leadership style are two in number. The first one is that I should view leadership in a global perspective rather than institutionally or domestically. Secondly, the research has challenged me to start taking appropriate contingency measures depending on the situations at hand; this includes taking great risks in case they are the only solutions to the problem.


Jacobs, L. R., & King, D. S. (2010). Varieties of Obamaism: Structure, agency, and the Obama presidency. Perspectives on Politics, 8(03), 793-802.

Lindsay, J. M. (2011). George W. Bush, Barack Obama and the future of US global leadership. International Affairs, 87(4), 765-779.

Winter, D. G. (2011). PhilosopherKing or Polarizing Politician? A Personality Profile of Barack Obama. Political Psychology, 32(6), 1059-1081.

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