The President of the United States is not just the leader of our nation he is also the leader of the free world (or at least he is supposed to be). Barack Obama is currently President of the United States, but is he the leader of the free world or even of America? Better yet, is he a leader at all? Unfortunately the answer to these questions is a resounding no. As both President of the United States and as supposed leader of the free world, Barack Obama falls flat as a leader. In fact, on even the most basic characteristics of good leadership President Obama scores at or near the bottom of the rating scale.
Before getting into the details of the President’s sub-par performance as a leader, some background is in order. When wearing my corporate consultant’s hat I am sometimes called upon to evaluate rising stars in organizations to determine if they have executive-level leadership potential. Business and technical skills will take an individual well up the career ladder in most organizations, but they won’t get him into the executive suite. To make it as an executive an individual must also have advanced people skills, the most important of which is leadership. Just as the skills and abilities required to be a good executive are different from those required to be a good engineer, project manager, sales representative, lawyer, or professional of any kind, the skills required to be a good chief executive are different from those required to be a Senator or a community organizer. The point of this column is to illustrate that Barack Obama—once a Senator and community organizer—does not have the leadership skills necessary to be President of the United States.
The reader’s first response to this claim is likely to be, “Duh, anyone who used to have an insurance policy or a job would know that.” True. But liberals still argue—against all evidence—that Barack Obama is an effective leader. Consequently, I decided to apply the most important criteria used to evaluate the leadership potential of high-value corporate personnel to Barack Obama. My hope is that the results of the evaluation will give thinking people objective material to use when debating less objective liberals concerning the leadership abilities of our current president.
The first criterion in evaluating an individual’s leadership potential is vision. More specifically, to be an effective corporate leader an individual must have a worthy vision—a vision for making his organization more productive, more competitive, and, in turn, more profitable. Similarly, to be an effective leader of our nation and the free world an American president must have a vision for making our country stronger—economically, militarily, and morally—as well as safer and more secure for its citizens. Barack Obama fails in all of these areas. His is an unworthy vision of a weaker America that is drowning in debt, dependent on the United Nations for national defense, and morally bankrupt; a nation in decline that will eventually lose its superpower status. Worse yet, Obama has made substantial progress in realizing this unworthy vision for America.
Another important criterion in evaluating an individual’s leadership potential is integrity. Followers must be able to trust their leader. They must know that regardless of the message—good news or bad—he will tell them the truth. People won’t willingly follow someone they don’t trust. Barack Obama fails the integrity test about as badly as an individual can. He came into office promising transparency, hope, change, and racial reconciliation. In reality, Barack Obama has been one of the least transparent presidents ever to occupy the White House. In fact, he makes President Nixon look like the truth fairy. Even his supporters have learned that President Obama cannot be trusted (e.g. Insurance premiums will be reduced, you can keep your doctor, no one will lose his health insurance policy, etc.). As to providing Americans with hope, polls now show that confidence in America’s future has been at an all-time low for most of Obama’s time in office.
As to change, the president certainly kept this promise. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all of the changes he has made have been bad. Until recently Barack Obama’s tenure as president has been characterized by high unemployment, foreign policy disasters, a tepid economy, trashing of the healthcare system, and undermining of the military. The President is currently and temporarily enjoying better poll numbers because the price of oil is down, but Americans can thank the Saudis for this pleasant trend not Barack Obama. Since taking office, Obama has done nothing to reduce the price of oil. In fact, just the opposite is true. His energy policies have been tended to increase oil prices (e.g. refusal to move forward with the Keystone Pipeline, the war on coal, and wasting billions on questionable alternative energy sources, etc.).
Oil prices are down for one reason and one reason only: the Saudi’s are pumping up the supply in an effort to kill the competition they see coming from the shale fields in North Dakota and Canada, the resurgence of oil production in Texas and Oklahoma, and the potential effects of the Keystone Pipeline. Once they kill the competition by driving prices down so low that oil exploration and production in American and Canada are not economically feasible, the Saudis will turn off the spigot and oil prices will rise accordingly. This is why Wall Street continues to watch oil prices with a wary eye.
As to racial reconciliation, Barack Obama began to squander his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the races in American toward better relations the moment he took office. In fact, his obvious political pandering and poor leadership in this area have set race relations back by decades. Every time Barack Obama has had an opportunity to lead on racial issues—the Cambridge police incident, the Trayvon Martin shooting, the Ferguson riots—he has instead chosen to side with race hustlers such as Al Sharpton who make their living stirring up racial discord. Worse yet, his Domestic policies have given credibility to the entitlement mentality that now permeates American society ensuring there will be a permanent government dependent underclass for the next century, provided, of course, America lasts that long.
Other important leadership criteria include commitment, fairness, sacrifice, moral courage, a positive can-do attitude, and accepting blame for failures while sharing credit for successes. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient space in just one column to summarize Barack Obama’s lackluster performance on these criteria. Suffice it to say that he earns a grade of “F” on all of them. President Obama has succeeded in one important way as president: as America’s first black president he broke through the long-standing color barrier. However, having done this one worthy thing, he then proceeded to fail as a leader and as a president, and the trend continues even as of this writing.