Obama’s Leadership Style

July/07/2011 16:07PM
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I’ve been a student of leadership styles for the past 40 years. It has taken a while, but I believe I finally have a handle on the Obama leadership style. I’m struggling for a label, but have finally settled on: demagogic/attacking . I’ve seen it before.

With this style, the leader does basically nothing and hopes all will go well. Generally, the leader has one person that he/she relies on for advice. In the case of Obama, it’s Valerie Jarrett. Generally, this type of leader is humorless, arrogant, sensitive about criticism, and has an aura of being in complete control. All of these are necessary to pull it off. To offer little, if any, leadership while appearing to be involved.

People with this type of leadership can go far until they are Peter-Principled to a point where the visibility is too sharp and the responsibility too much. When things start going wrong at this level, the fallback is to attack/blame, thus the label, demagogic/attacking.

The first step in defending failure is to find straw men to blame. George W. Bush, for example. He is to blame for the economy. But, the blaming must be attacking, not just finger pointing. It must be done with soaring oratory. The teleprompter must be smoking.

Ultimately, so many things go wrong for this style of leader that he/she can’t find enough straw men and spew enough vitriol often enough to cover the problems. That’s where Obama is right now.

His game on the debt ceiling is not working. Not yet, at least. Enough Americans have watched him try to raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion with every intention of spending that, submit a budget that went down in flames in the senate by a vote of 97-0, try to convince the public that changing depreciation of corporate jets will work and spending can go on, then attacking the congress for not working while he offers no solutions, except tax increases on the very rich, which really means anyone making over $250K a year. Most small businessmen fall into that category.

The worst president in my lifetime, Jimmy Carter, was a micromanager. He had to have his fingers in everything. And, he was ineffective, so while touching everything, he screwed everything up.

Obama touches nothing. He is in the stands watching the game and writing his critique of the players on the field. Like most Monday-morning quarterbacks, he is really good at finding the flaws.

He feels no responsibility for the outcome of the game. He has no intention of getting in the game. It’s voting present again.

But, because he is responsible for the outcome of the game, he must have excuses for the losses. Find the ones to blame, strike out at the losers who are causing his criticism, and deflect blame.

This leadership style is worse than Carter’s. In Jimmy’s case he at least worked. He tried, he was involved, too involved, and he cared. With the Obama style, you play golf, raise money, campaign, travel, tweet on Twitter, make speeches, and watch. You have no plan, no strategy, no interest, no involvement.

But, you do have a long list of blamees that you attack when it all goes south. It’s going south fast, Mr. President, you may want to take a break from golf or fund raising and polish up that list.

QUOTE OF THE DECADE……..A European Perspective

Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone over there has it figured out. We have a lot of work to do.

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

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