Barack Obama Leadership Traits

The U.S. presidential election is just around the corner. Incumbent President Barrack Obama has just a few months work left. Before 2016 ends, a new face will be sitting in the White House. Everything will be different then — new people, new atmosphere, new leadership. So, before the incumbent President steps down from office, let us take a long look at the man as a leader. What do people see in him and made him the first African American president of the United States, and even elected him again for another term?

1. Transformational-Charismatic

Obama possesses a seemingly charismatic nature which helped him attract the attention of Americans and foreigners alike. This trait came in handy during the campaign period as it enabled him to draw other people to his side, even some of his critics could not help but like him, and moved them into doing something for a bigger cause. In addition, he gave better speech to a large crowd than Clinton did. He is considered as one of the best speech givers in the American presidential history that he can command the attention of a person with ADHD. Most notably, he can give speeches on race issues without coming across as catering only to the black people given his strong connection and ties with the black community. He also appeals across different religious sectors. He handled things well during the middle of Islamophobia issue.

2. Global and Cross Cultural Leadership

Unlike his predecessor, George Bush, who espoused a unilateral, ethnocentric foreign policy which drove a wedge between Washington and its European friends, Obama was able to formulate a cross-cultural-global approach to issues concerning America and other countries while making sure that national security is not taken for granted. In his first six months on the job, his focus had been reestablishing international relationships by visiting friendly countries and even those which America has a cold relationship. He tried to be more reconciliatory with China, Russia and the Middle East, which the Bush administration almost managed to make a hostile enemy of.

We do not deny the fact, however, that some of Obama’s policies towards the Middle East have resulted in some serious issues, such as the Arab spring which resulted in the overthrow of some pro-American regime, creating a what some people say a ‘hotspot’ for the Presidents’ lack of global leadership.

3. Contingency Leadership

During his first five years in Washington, Obama created a model known as contingency leadership, defining his approach or style on the needs and preferences of other people and on the control he exerts over his environment. For instance, when making a state visit to other countries, he was very reconciliatory. He humbled himself before foreign leaders and made it a point to listen before speaking. On the contrary, when he dealt with the executives and leaders of the failing American auto industry, he stood tough to demand for necessary changes. His words were firm and outright.

Obama has his flaws, but this certainly did not erase the fact that his leadership style made him one of the most remarkable presidents of America.