Barack Obama's Leadership and Character Traits



Integrity is the act of keeping to your personal morals or ethics.  Malcom Friedberg wrote about who he thinks Barack Obama is and why he thought he should be president:

” ….that's the man I want to run my country: the man who has the courage to do what's best for all of us, and not to compromise because it provides him with some short-term gain. Show me the man that will risk losing the election because he won't compromise his values, and I'll show you the man that deserves the right to be called the President of the United States of America.”
        -from “Barack Obama’s Integrity” by Malcolm Friedberg, posted Mar. 21. 2008

President Obama, before he was even named the 2008 Democratic Candidate for President, supported diplomacy as the first measure to be taken in response to any suspicious activity.  In particular, Obama supported the re-initiation of diplomatic action with Iran.  He opposed the bill that would regard the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group, thereby allowing the president to position troops in Iran, which could be interpreted as military action against the Iranians.  This shows that the President respects all organizations, regardless of their history or relationships and that his first thought when approaching foreign organizations, is diplomacy.   

The introductory paragraph to the Obama Administration's tax plan states: “Barack Obama’s tax plan delivers  broad-based tax relief to middle  class families and cuts taxes for small businesses and companies  that create jobs in America, while restoring fairness to our tax code and returning to fiscal responsibility.” Fairness is an especially important trait for any leader because a good leader must treat everyone with equality, regardless of race, gender or social status.  For more information, refer to the Obama tax plan.

Citizenship is the character of an individual viewed as a member of society or their behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.  President Obama demonstrated very eloquent citizenship when he worked as a community organizer in the south side of Chicago:

    In June 1985, Obama moved to Chicago, where he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.  During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for a community organizing institute.”

-From “Early life and career of Barack Obama", Wikipedia

The positive changes that occured during Obama's management display his self-motivation in the community that he was a part of at that time. 

In my opinion, one of the most difficult tasks that any world leader will face is balancing time with their two major obligations; the population that they are leading and their actual family.  There's no hiding the strong bonds between the members of the Obama family; the family reserves time for a sit-down dinnertime every night.  Barack Obama is certainly a family man; he's seen in public all of the time with his loving family. 

Additionally, Barack Obama is committed to creating universal health care in America.  This shows that the health of the individual American is one of his top priorities. 

With the 2009 inauguration, Mr.Obama inherited two wars, one of the worst economic disasters in American history, and a multi-trillion dollar debt.  President Obama has displayed that he knows how to inspire confidence in people, and he will have to if the United States is going to make it out of these challenges intact.  President Obama attacks the economic recession daily, creates new plans to counter the U.S. debt, and has already put his troop withdrawal and distribution plans into action.  The American people must know that the government is working hard so that they can gain trust in the Federal government once again.  Obama knows the true meaning of leadership: to encourage the American people to act for a common purpose because they want to.  Here is a phrase that President Obama used in one of his recent speeches:

"Starting today, we must pick ouselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America"

Barack Obama, 2009 Inaugural Address 

He has certainly held true to his word on this quote.  To help to alleviate the recession, he has spent more money in his first sixty days than in an entire term of any other president.  Obama hasn't just talked about plans of rebuilding America, he has acted on them.  Americans are gradually investing more and more trust in their government as each crisis is dealt with.

Mindful Decision Making

A deliberate decision of Mr. Obama was to surround himself with people that don't neccessarily agree with his views.  This way, the President will gain different perspectives on difficult issues.  If his cabinet were to contain people that constantly agree with him, he could make purely 'Obama' choices all of the time, and the right decision might not always be made- nobody's perfect.  

Barack Obama has shown his decisiveness through the inummerable times he has taken action in just about the sixty days that he has spent in the White House.

View the Obama Tax Plan

Refer to the Josephon Institute of Ethics definition of the Six Pillars of Character

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