A lot has been said about the essential attributes of leadership, and consequently, there are various ideas and opinions as to what is considered as good leadership traits. My analysis of the former president’s conduct while in the office with due consideration to how he had interacted with the people makes me conclude the leadership code to analyze his leadership traits as follows;
Shaping the future; Obama was a visionary leader who brought in a lot of new ideas in line with leadership. As a president, he had always tried to find solutions to the economic crisis in the country, the war in Iraq, climate change and healthcare reforms. Considering this practice, I consequently regarded Obama as a transformational leader who was more concerned with creating the necessary change needed in society. Making things happen; Obama had used his party’s advantageous majority status in Congress to pass bills that were in line with the change he needed. The stimulus bill had saved the US from an economic collapse.
Engaging others; Obama never did things alone, he had always engaged the best talents around him. He was an inspiring leader who created an organized team that he supported and cooperated with for the sake of his transformational mission. The relationships he had created enabled him to accomplish his goals since he obtained advice from different quarters. The love the people had for him was an important factor in achieving success. Even before being elected as president, his involvement and support to the local community in his native state of Chicago had earned him the love of the people. (Hoffman 2017)
Hawkins (2017) argues that transformational leaders always believe in themselves and convictions. Obama believed in change for the American people and this can be seen in his slogan, “change we can believe in,” he had believed that through determination and the belief in change, he could be able to influence other people to walk with him through the change. I believe my personality and approach are already aligned to the charismatic nature of Obama, however, I still need to improve on a few areas regarding the persuasion and convincing abilities for change.
Effective leadership primarily involves taking into consideration the issues affecting the employees. Leaders are usually involved in the recruitment of new employees, firing of non-performing employees, retaining performing employees among other activities. All the activities mentioned here I believe require integrity, emotional stability, and courage. Allan Mulally has indicated that leaders while trying to make tough decisions like the ones Ford Motor Company needed, there is need to have the courage to help you pursue the change even in the face of resistance and doubt. We should always put the interests of the companies first. To maintain profits at Ford, Mullaly took a tough decision to suspend dividends for shareholders for almost two years. He had also proposed cost-cutting strategies to help restructure the company around its massive losses and the consequent declining market share.
All the activities that Mullaly did at Ford, for example, mortgaging all the company’s assets to use the funds to finance major projects. He subsequently cut labor costs per hour from 76 dollars to about 55 dollars. These actions required tough decision making which I believe required courage without fear to undertake. Paying attention to tasks without fear and with utmost courage helps in achieving organizational goals; this is because decisions made are usually correct and always in line with the goals.
Administrative skills refer to the skills needed to run an office and subsequently keep an office in an orderly manner. As a leader, there is a need to possess these skills besides others. I believe communication is a very critical skill that a leader requires; this is because leaders usually interact with employees, staff members, and even clients. There is, therefore, a need to be a good communicator who knows when to speak and what to say. Organizational skills; as a leader I would also require organizational skills to help me go through the daily numerous tasks that are handled daily. Some of the organizational skills that I need to be well acquainted with include; accuracy, appointments, and attention to detail among other aspects.
Interpersonal skills are also vital requirements for leaders. These sets of skills are used in effective interaction with one another. Interpersonal skills, I believe would be required for a mutual relationship with others at the workplace; these include a range of aspects such as the ability to communicate, listening to communication and one’s attitude. Interpersonal skills help leaders to effectively interact with others; the ability to resolve conflicts by keenly listening to problems and disputes are important interpersonal attributes that I need to be well conversant with.
Conceptual skills; are a set of skills that comprise analytical, creative and communication skills. They are specifically important for leaders and managers since creativity allows managers and leaders to work with concepts and ideas in various creative ways. Leaders with conceptual skills can analyze the situation at their workplaces and connect them to the overall operations of the company.
Having analyzed all the above skills, I have however realized I need to enhance my skills in terms of interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills require humility and subsequent control of emotions; these are some of the areas that I need to work on. Through practical implementation, I believe I can develop each skill through learning and continued practical experience as a manager.
Hawkins, P. (2017). Leadership team coaching: Developing collective transformational leadership. Kogan Page Publishers.
Hofmann, D. C. (2017). Charismatic Leadership. Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, 1-4.
Leaders Must Serve, with Courage http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIwz1KlKXP4
Stanford Graduate School of Business Guest Lecture: Alan Mulally. President and CEO of Ford:
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