Leadership the Obama way

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20th Jan 2009
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Barack Obama As Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the USA, Gemma Middleton says that while we can't all measure up to his style of powerful leadership, we can aspire to it. Leadership development, she argues, is the key to narrowing the gap.

Politics often creates an audible groan when brought up in conversation, particularly in the younger generations, where, if we are being honest, there is little concern for who is in favour as there is the belief that very little separates political parties today.

However in America that has been blown out of the water, where young and old have been motivated to actually go out and have their voices heard and this appears largely down to one man. Barack Obama; arguably leadership at its best.

Whatever your political beliefs very few could deny Obama’s powerful leadership style. The press in the UK and America have used words such as empathetic, inspirational and behaviour changing to describe his approach.

Leadership is an incredible business tool and can make a real difference as the American election has shown; the prospect of having a black American President a few years ago was nothing more than a pipe dream; however, Obama made it happen because of his leadership style – it seems he was born for this role.

The saying “leaders are born and not made” is an argument that nearly everyone working in business would have heard and it is usually personal experience that decides whether you choose to agree or disagree.

Every individual has some degree of natural leadership qualities. But we can’t all be Obama’s, and it is this reason why leadership development can play an important role in the success of a leader.

Learning and development gives leaders the opportunity to explore and develop their natural skills, which ultimately builds confidence – arguably one of the most important characteristics that a successful leader needs to possess.

Good leaders tend to exhibit excellent communication skills, engaging and infectious energy levels and the ability to remain calm and strong in difficult situations as well as inspiring hope and the belief that change is possible.

By developing and enhancing natural skills an organisation ensures that their people are fully supported while they fulfil natural abilities.

A true leader is able to touch all generations and different types of people, whilst adjusting their style and approach to the audience – the chameleon of business. By investing and showing support in their current and future leaders organisations will put themselves at the front of the pack, which is exactly the best place to be.

Gemma Middleton is a marketing coordinator at Righttrack Consultancy

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