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President Barack Obama's Leadership Style- Thriving in the Midst of Controversy

Updated on April 13, 2010

Cultivating an Effective Leadership Style

Whether or not you like his politics, there is something to be said about President Barack Obama's ability to thrive in the midst of controversy. Whether or not you like where he's taking the country, there is something about a presidential leadership style that takes hit after hit, but keeps going in the face of massive opposition. Of course, it was President Bush's stubborn reluctance to change his courses of action which brought about the downfall of the Republican Party. Still, there is something admirable about a leader who will roll with the punches and still keep going. What attributes does it take to cultivate a leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy?

Preparation and Planning

In order to thrive under pressure, President Barack Obama had to begin with preparation and planning. He had to cultivate a leadership style that propelled him to do his homework on each important issue facing the American people today. If he does not know the full breadth of issue, then he has to call in experts from all sides of the issue to get the clearest understanding of all aspects involved in the issue. When a leader prepares thoroughly, then he or she is able to make a plan and will be confident that the plan is the right course of action to meet the challenge.


Passion is another characteristic of a presidential leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy. After a leader like President Barack Obama walks through the preparation and planning process and has a grasp of what needs to be done in a given matter, then he is better able to be passionate about pushing through the plan. If a plan is ill-conceived then the leader will be less confident. A leadership style that lacks confidence becomes wishy-washy and unfocused. But when a leader is confident then he will be passionate and that passion will carry him through the tough times. Passion is a characteristic of an effective leadership style that thrives in midst of controversy.


Patience is a third characteristic of a leadership style that carries a leader along in the midst of controversy. A leader like President Barack Obama knows that Rome wasn't built in a day nor can one change a ship's course at a moment's notice. Orchestrating change is a long drawn out process that takes patience. Effective leaders understand this principle and wait for the right time to push their initiatives forward. Patience is a positive characteristic of an effective leadership style that thrives in the midst of strife.


Perseverance is another characteristic of a leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy. A leader like President Barack Obama is not afraid to wade through the muck and the mire to push through what he thinks is right. As someone has said, "nothing worthwhile comes easy." It has also been said that the most successful people are those who failed the most because they never stopped trying. Perseverance is a characteristic of a leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy.

Pounding the Pavement

Finally, a leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy is one that is not afraid to pound the pavement to communicate the vision and draw support. A leader like President Barack Obama knows that people are the source of his success. In order to push through his agenda, he must get out and meet the people and rub shoulders with them. He is also not afraid to listen to the ideas of others even if he does not agree with them and vice versa. Pounding the pavement is another characteristic of effective leadership style that thrives in the midst of controversy.


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    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      While he is trying to get out of killing four Americans how well will he be running our country? He should be impeached for what he did and if he is, who does that leave us? I voted for him four years ago and it was a rude awakening seeing him do nothing he said he would do and see him bow to Muslims. I feel for the ones that have yet to wake up. It won't take long now he has nothing to lose.

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      JJW3:16 6 years ago

      ECoggins: Just ran across this article. Like it I do. The Five P's are impressive. Keep up the positive work. We may not all agree with the President, but we do respect the office. I think President Obama makes it look good. He and his wife gives the white house class.

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      Dorothe, Thank you for stopping by and connecting. I appreciate your wisdom. The compromise Obama brokered after the defeats in the mid-terms shows that he seems to have more savvy then have been given he as of late. That compromise seemed to appease both sides of the aisle and might have won him a second term.

    • Dorothe Orr profile image

      Dorothe Orr 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi DC,

      Sorry I'm only now getting to your hub... I love the way you laid out all the p's of leadership style. I suppose the number one aspect as a volunteer to his campaign would fall under Passion. His passion inspired so many of us to rise up from our "small" lives and join in the process. The thing outsiders missed was the spiritual/inspirational nature of the event.

      For me personally, it was as if I had reclaimed a chunk of myself that had gone by the wayside (probably with the death of JFK), mixed into the debris of a corrupted culture.

      The fundamental offering of Senator Barack Obama was that we're all responsible for our nation and government. The truth of that statement became manifest when he won the election.

      We all have a stake in and responsibility to our government. I just hope we remember that with each upcoming campaign. Be cause the battle will not be won by sitting in our barco-loungers waiting for "them" to fix it....

    • KKalmes profile image

      KKalmes 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello EC, I couldn't agree more with your presidential insights and leadership quality requirements and I know, I believe, I have full faith in President Obama's ability to succeed in all aspects of his presidency and the end result will be a win for the American people.

      thumbs up and awesome because we don't have an excellent rating.

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      Dchosen, I appreciate your feedback very much and am blessed to know that some of what I've had to say has touched your heart.

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      Dchosen_01 7 years ago

      well said. You have truly enriched me this night. I have stay over your hubs for more than two hours... Sorry I did not comment on all of them, but I cannot wait to continue tomorrow.

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      kristian 7 years ago


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      His rating are going down hill and he is kicking the press out of the way over the last few days, so I think some of these qualities he has exhibited in the past may be failing him now. Good hub.

    • JOE BARNETT profile image

      JOE BARNETT 7 years ago

      i agree!! i think it's his ability to remain as kool as a cucumber and to treat the oppositions most devious plan as amusing, makes him just that leader. intelligent,unflinching and personable! great hub