The Obama Effect

“The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.” - Spencer W. Kimball

Since Barack Obama has been running as US president candidate I’ve been impressed with Obama’s inspiring and very positive leadership style and more importantly; with the effect and impact his actions are having on people all around the world. The correlation between his style as a leader is exceptionally valid in the current business world and I think that more leaders of businesses and teams should be adopting a more empowering way in which to get high performance from their team members. This is why:

At the start of his campaign the US was in a state of fear, frustration and anger. Obama brought a breath of fresh air and turns around the US ship; he brings new leadership and new hope. Something true leaders always bring!

Obama must have studied the lessons learned of some previous US presidents (e.g. Kennedy, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower) and various true leaders (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert E. Lee, Jack Welch), because he adopted and applies a lot of their values, skills and strengths. 

With his “Change, yes we can!” messages he combines his vision that the US can reinvent itself, with the statement that anyone can play and should play a role in it, no matter what kind of race, colour or religion they have. “We’re all on the same boat, sailing in the same direction” is the indirect message he brings.

His speeches and actions are all focused on change, responsibility and accountability. The energy and change he brings usually spreads like a virus and is having a positive effect on billions of people around the globe. So far he ticks all the boxes of a passionate, honest, genuine, energetic, results focused and strong transformation leader. This is just what the US and large parts of the rest of the world were in desperate need of!

The previous leader had established an environment of command & control, which he justified and sold to the public by creating fear and using all kind of power and control strategies. He wasn’t building a team, he was putting fences around many people and things. People started to hide and often blame each other (finger pointing), which is a natural response to a command & order culture.
Obama’s leadership style is a major contrast, as he creates an environment and culture which is based on core values, personal responsibility, hope, inspiration, transparency, collective positive goals, results, being accountable and being part of something new and something big! In other words: he’s building a team and the US population are his team members! Wow!

We as leaders, managers and entrepreneurs have the same task: create and clearly communicate our vision, hope, passion, inspiration and the journey we’ll take our team members on! The collective energy you’ll build among your team(s), will result in massive positive results! The best teams can take on the toughest challenges. It will enable your team members to come up with new creative ideas, innovations, new ways to collaborate, improve the moral, improve the overall performance and improve client satisfaction! Everyone will feel part of it and will be motivated to take part in the challenges your organisation is facing. “Yes, we can!”, “Yes, you can!” and “Yes, I can!” will rule!

Please do yourself a favour and ask yourself what it would take for you to create the “Obama Effect” within your team(s) and organisation. It will allow you to get the best out of your team members and stimulate and coach them to achieve things they could not imagine to be possible for them. When you start to bring messages of hope and inspiration, the way up will naturally be created. As long as you’ll keep your communication succinct, sincere, generous, open and honest!

“It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

"Yes we can.” - Barack Obama


Have fun creating the Obama Effect and leading the way up!

Thanks, best regards & success,

Patrick Driessen