Top 9 Leadership Traits of Barack Obama

In this post, we’ll analyze the leadership traits and qualities of Barack Obama.

In fact, Barack Obama possesses extraordinary leadership skills, which enabled him to become the 44th President of the United States at the relatively young age of 47.

Let’s have a closer look.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Barack Obama

Having Convictions

Every President of any country has a list of policies and procedures that they support and believe in.

What makes a president truly great is that they deeply believe in the words and policies they put forth.

Passionate people with standards and convictions can relate more to the public and the press.

Barack Obama was a President with convictions about the things he believed in.

For example, when the United Nations had to interfere and discuss the Israel - Palestine conflict, former President Obama took a stand for his views, representing the American people well and helping the other parties understand his viewpoints.

"The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam."
Barack Obama

Former President Obama stuck to what he believed in and did not sway, even when trials came, and circumstances got more difficult.

Persevering through Trials

It is no secret that the presidency of the United States ages each President who is in office. It is a stressful job. A lot is on the President’s shoulders, and he has a lot of responsibility.

However, Former President Obama took the trials in stride and worked tirelessly for the American people.

When he came into office, the country was in a deep recession and struggling to keep its head above water.

In his 2008 campaign, Obama always held a firm belief that if you stick to your beliefs and communicate well, you can help others to understand your perspective, no matter the circumstances.

Being Comfortable with Change

Former President Obama led his 2008 campaign with the slogan “A Change We Can Believe In.” He saw that many things in America’s economy, schools, and congress were not working.

Instead of becoming President and staying safe and stable, he challenged the normal way that things have been done and encouraged everyone to be comfortable with some change.

Being a Team Player

Any time former President Obama spoke, it was evident that he viewed himself as part of the American team and not as a dictator or ruler.

When he spoke, he said “we” and not “I” when he spoke of the responsibilities at hand. When he talked about the trials of the American people, he said “we” instead of “you.” This made the American people feel like Obama was on their side and down in the trenches with them.

"I'm the president of the United States. I'm not the emperor of the United States."
Barack Obama

Having Charisma

Barack Obama is certainly one of the most charismatic leaders of all time.

As soon as he started running in the Democratic primary races, it was evident that he was much, much different than the other politicians.

When he spoke, everyone sat on the edge of their seats. He was witty, funny, confident, well-spoken, and personable.

He told stories of personal experiences that were both professional and familiar at the same time.

Even now, after his eight-year presidency, everyone feels honored to hear him speak if they are privileged enough to get to hear him at events as a keynote speaker.

His charisma and personality made him a very likable person and easy to listen to, unlike other stuffy politicians who seemed boring and like more of the same old presidents everyone was used to.

Communicating Effectively

Barack Obama’s charisma was a big part of his extremely effective communication style. People wanted to listen to him because he was pleasant to listen to. However, his effective communication did not stop there.

Barack Obama was very skilled at speaking to any group of people on their own level. People felt heard and understood when talking with him.

Regardless of race, class, or age, everyone who spoke with him felt like he understood who they were and that he was a president that was fighting for them.

Taking Risks

Being the leader of a country is extremely risky. Your personal safety is at risk all the time. Every President in the history of the world has people who do not like them because of their policies, politics, procedures, or just overall personality.

Being famous and well known can carry some big risks.

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."
Barack Obama

Aside from personal safety, there are also many risky decisions that have to be made as a president. No matter what you choose, someone is unhappy, and that can be very challenging to swallow.

In his own professional life, Barack Obama took a risk when he ran for the Democratic primary in 2008. He ran in 2004 as well, and he completely crashed and burned. Even some of his own advisors asked him not to run again in 2008.

However, he took the risk, and he was elected President of the United States twice - serving an eight-year term.

Being a Lifelong Learner

One of the greatest attributes of a leader is humility. No one likes an arrogant leader who thinks they know absolutely everything about everything.

Barack Obama was not an arrogant man nor an arrogant leader.

In fact, even after his presidency was over, Obama continued to pursue his career in other ways, such as writing and speaking, and he has always been a voracious reader.

Choosing to continue learning as one ages is an incredible leadership quality. Admitting that one does not know everything and that one still has things to learn is a strong character trait.

In fact, others can even trust a leader more when they know he is not arrogant or self-seeking.

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."
Barack Obama

Obama’s reading lists and recommendations still capture the heart of America. Everyone loves to know that he loves to learn and read and grow.

Learning from the Past

It is a well-known fact that if we are not familiar with history, it is doomed to repeat itself. As a leader of an entire country, it is vitally important to know the history of the people and the tendencies they may have.

Even knowing other countries and world history is helpful when running a country and making decisions that can affect the entire country and even the world.

Barack Obama was a scholar and student of history, and he learned from the past and America’s mistakes to make better decisions for America’s future.


It is no secret that being the President of the United States is an incredibly difficult job.

Barack Obama came into the United States presidency with grace, charisma, excitement, and change, and he led the American people into a new era of history.

His many leadership qualities made him a great president for a time of massive change. After a recession that hit America very hard, he helped bring the economy back to a stable place.

His convictions and persistence helped America enter an era of change and growth. He chose to be a team player and take risks for the betterment of the country.

He communicated his ideas and policies with charisma and strength, and many people respected him.

He was not arrogant or proud but chose to continue pursuing knowledge and wisdom, learning from the past, and working towards a strong and bright future.

Using all of these leadership qualities, Barack Obama was a great president who used his leadership skills to lead America for two presidential terms.

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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