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GETTING TO KNOW PRESIDENT OBAMA

By       Message Sally McMillan     Permalink
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After one year in office, President Obama"s leadership style is becoming more apparent. For one thing, he's a moderate. He approaches change one step at a time. This doesn't take us where we need to be, but it doesn't leave us where we were. It's a method geared to achieving the possible rather than the end goal all at once.

He's also a listener. He wants to hear all sides of an issue and then mull it over personally. He makes informed decisions, not gut decisions. This can take time. He's also a delegater. With so much on his plate, he lets others shape the basic plan of action, which he then refines. It's a modified hands-off style.

He gets involved to promote a goal when he's satisfied with the outcome.. He attempts to bring everyone along. He knows what he wants to accomplish and he plays it smart, tackling things in the order that he believes is best. Things don't always work out according to plan, but he's able to keep his cool and readjust.

On world issues, he works a bit differently, more hands-on. He talks to other world leaders, promoting his ideas, but also showing a willingness to compromise. He takes a lead in getting people together, taking an active part himself in offering solutions. He persists when roadblocks arise. He can be tough.

Some world problems can be intractable. Other leaders can be hot-headed and obstinate. He can sometimes defuse a volatile situation. Sometimes he has to pull back and be patient. He can do this. A question that still persists is whether he can admit he was wrong and change course.

Overall, this kind of leadership can be effective. But it doesn't satisfy either those who want more change or those who want to hold on to the status quo. It will probably take more time and more frustration before we know whether it accomplishes what he has in mind for the U.S. and for the world. And whether he has the U.S. and the world with him.

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Sally McMillan is a mother, a grandmother, an activist and a writer. She's from Philadelphia, Iowa, and now Albuquerque. She has four children and 12 grandchildren.


She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA (more...)
 

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