The Effective Leadership of Barack Obama
2.1. Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
2.2. Leading by Example
2. 3 Being an Effective Communicator
Leadership is defined as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task” (Yukl, 2006, p. 10). Leaders are those people in society who are looked up to by others because they have some sort of power or influence over them. In many cases, this power or influence is given to the leader by the people they are leading. An effective leader is someone who can not only lead others, but also inspire them to achieve great things. One such leader is Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States of America. Obama was sworn into office on January 20th, 2009, becoming the first African American to hold the position of President of the United States. Throughout his Presidency, Obama has shown himself to be an effective leader through his charisma, ability to lead by example, and effective communication skills.
2. 1 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
One aspect of leadership that Obama has displayed throughout his Presidency is his charismatic personality. Charisma is “a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities” (Bass, 1985, p. 63). In other words, charisma is what makes a leader look and feel special or different from everyone else. It is a trait that not all leaders possess, but it is one that can make a leader very successful if used correctly. Obama’s charisma has played a big role in his success as President because it has helped him gain the trust and respect of those he leads. When people see and hear Obama speak, they are drawn to him because he comes across as genuine and sincere. He also has a way of making complex issues seem simple and easy to understand, which helps him connect with average citizens who may not be as informed about politics as he is. Obama’s charisma has inspired many people to vote for him and support his policies, even when they may not agree with everything he does.
In addition to being charismatic, Obama is also a transformational leader. Transformational leadership “involves a dramatic change in what followers are doing” (Bass, 1985, p. 46). It is a type of leadership that inspires followers to not only change their behavior, but also their beliefs and values. Transformational leaders are able to motivate others to do things that they may not have thought possible before. Obama has proved to be a transformational leader during his Presidency by enacting several major changes in policy despite strong opposition from Republicans in Congress. One example of this is his healthcare budget plans, which were passed by Congress despite many suggestions from republicans that they be scrapped entirely. Through his transformational leadership skills, Obama was able to convince enough people to support his healthcare plans and get them passed into law.”Without having competent individuals in our health care system we would not be able achieve high quality care” (Kouzes & Posner).
2. 2 Leading by Example
Another quality that makes Obama an effective leader is his willingness to lead by example. Leaders