Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Obama Leadership Style

A fascinating image of the leadership style of President Obama has been emerging in the last few days. On one level, he's viewed as an excellent delegator of responsibility to competent and capable persons, and keen at placing some of the best qualified persons into major positions of authority within his administration. On the other hand, he's unafraid to take a "hands on" approach and make many important and hard decisions on his own. The image of a strong and mature top chief executive for the nation is emerging as good as any top corporate CEO. A top CEO this good could have made a lot more money in the private sector rather than public service.

A further reassuring fact about the leadership strengths of President Obama was the finely tuned precision of his campaign both during the primary and general election seasons. This campaign was so well managed that their were very few flaws or mistakes. And the strategy was so carefully choregraphed that Mr. Obama was able to upend both Hillary Clinton who was the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination as well as war hero John McCain in the general election. If Mr. Obama can only continue this excellent choreography during his presidency, then his administration should not only be highly successfully, but the nation should witness substantial progress on his policies taking effect as well.

It's sort of ironic that Mr. Obama who was a constitutional law professor before becoming an U.S. Senator only a few scant years ago is a substantially better business manager than President Bush who was the nation's first MBA and had some substantial business management background. But part of the fact might just be that Mr. Obama surrounds himself with excellent staff and advisors who reach a consensus on what the best possible path to follow should be. If anything, it's a model good enough to run a mega-corporation like GM could seriously use to turn around their dire situation.

A further reassuring note was that Mr. Obama was unafraid to give a very serious and somber address at his inaugural and face cold hard facts and truths and to honestly confront the American public when some serious action is required on their part. It is a perfect portrait of a president with complete self confidence and as much honesty as can be expected from a mortal human. It's a pretty impressive leadership style.

Overall, a strong portrait of an honest leader willing to make hard choices and confront issues head-on is emerging. His first week in office has been impressive, where every day briefings about the economic news are now common, as well as hands-on discussions of other pressing issues.

This is a portrait of a fully engaged, no nonsense, leader. It is also a pretty good indication that the long primary and general election season redeemed itself by helping to wisely winnow perhaps the strongest leader of all the potential contenders by far.


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