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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

Barack Obama as a Leader


What have we learned about Obama's leadership style, and his strengths and weaknesses as a leader, from his initial appointments and actions as a campaigner and president-elect?

Posted by Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein on January 12, 2009 10:40 AM
FROM THE PANEL
Andy Stern

Values That Really Matter

Not only does the President-elect understand the difference between politics and policy, he also appreciates focus and discipline.

Posted by Andy Stern, on January 14, 2009 12:16 PM
Jim Kouzes

The Dedicated Student

What should worry us is if Obama should ever think that he has graduated from leadership school and believes that he has learned all he needs to know.

Posted by Jim Kouzes, on January 14, 2009 11:40 AM
Norm R. Augustine

Getting Back on the Horse

Current expectations are so great that unless Obama proves to be a Lincolnesque leader, disappointment throughout the nation and the world will be inevitable.

Posted by Norm R. Augustine, on January 14, 2009 11:03 AM
Abraham Zaleznik

A Sigh of Relief

Obama's non-hip shooter leadership style may prove to be one of his greatest and most-welcomed assets.

Posted by Abraham Zaleznik, on January 14, 2009 10:19 AM

Reality Therapy

The man does have weaknesses. The fact that he does a good job overcoming, disguising, and controlling them is one of the reasons he'll be putting his hand on the Bible on January 20th.

Posted by Alan M. Webber, on January 13, 2009 10:34 AM
Kathy Kretman

Inspiring a Tough Audience: Teenagers

When trust in our public institutions and elected leaders is at an all-time low, Obama has been able to capture the energy and desire to serve among our nation's young people. If he can turn that enthusiasm into service for the public good, then he will truly be a transformational leader.

Posted by Kathy Kretman, on January 12, 2009 2:38 PM
Marty Linsky

Not Afraid to Disappoint

In rebuffing the gas tax and tapping Rick Warren, Obama has demonstrated the courage and skill needed to disappoint his own supporters at a rate they can absorb.

Posted by Marty Linsky, on January 12, 2009 2:04 PM
Michael Useem

The Gifted Speaker

In his direct, sober, calm, deliberative, informed, uplifting, stirring and -- of course -- hopeful -- way, Obama displays naturally what many of us work painstakingly for: the gift of public speaking.

Posted by Michael Useem, on January 12, 2009 1:29 PM

The Principled Pragmatist

Obama's brilliant campaign and impressive transition process show he has the skills to guide the country through rough seas, but once greeted by "Hail to the Chief," will he keep his humility?

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on January 12, 2009 12:39 PM
Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr.

Past Is Not Prologue

The politics of campaign season are far different from the politics of governing. Can Obama make tough policy choices and manage complex decision-making processes?

Posted by Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr., on January 12, 2009 12:31 PM
Ed Ruggero

First Out The Door

To paratroopers, leading means being "last in the chow line and first out the aircraft door." Whatever the success of his ideas, Obama has at least shown courage in facing our economic crisis.

Posted by Ed Ruggero, on January 12, 2009 11:33 AM

After The Euphoria?

He's a great communicator, yes, but we don't yet know if he can effectively build teams or manage the complex systems of government.

Posted by George Reed, on January 12, 2009 11:18 AM

Open Ears, Open Mind

He strives to see the value of differing opinions, and, if he keeps it up, such a leadership style would be a welcome change from the past eight years.

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith, on January 12, 2009 11:10 AM
David Walker

Tough Talk -- More Needed

He has talked to us candidly about our current challenges and the tough choices they require, but he has yet to drive home the point that, like the rest of us, the government cannot keep overspending.

Posted by David Walker, on January 12, 2009 10:43 AM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

jimkearney19761: We don't really know anything about Mr. Obama except that he knows how to run for president, and he knows how to deliver a speech. If those...

GordonShumway: From a campaign that promises that the economy, the war in Iraq, Gitmo cleaned out and every other problem would be fixed within a year by e...

Aprogressiveindependent: Give Barack a chance to be president, then after four or eight years, one can fairly evaluate him as a leader. His leadership style as a can...

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