President Barack Obama demonstrates strong leadership skills. The president’s communication competencies are excellent. In terms of public speaking, the president speaks with the right tone and with a solid cadence. Beyond that, he understands how to properly insert a joke into even discussions on serious topics, providing levity to situations in order to provoke the reception to his arguments that he had been looking for. The president is, in fact, predisposed for certain leadership communication abilities. The president is a natural speaker, and even participates in writing his own speeches. His ability to contribute on both of these axes provides him with the unique ability to communicate his ideas.
The president’s primary strength comes with the use of strategic communication objectives. The president is often using the so-called “bully pulpit,” which is the term given to presidents who try to influence policy by speaking from their presidential position. With this in mind, he often speaks directly to the country itself, using emotional and logical appeals alike to ensure that people understand the need for a given solution or policy initiative. Likewise, he has been able to use communication forms like Twitter to reach younger voters, who have been necessary in communicating the need for Obamacare, for instance.
The president’s use of power bases and tactics related to those power bases has made him effective. He has a power base within the Democratic Party, and has been able to exploit this with avoidance tactics. The president has often ignored dissention within his own party, opting instead for a unity narrative, hoping to cobble together Democratic voters.
Lastly, the president’s behavioral ability to navigate through conflict has helped his ability as a leader. He has been able to play to both sides, remaining a centrist figure even while people have taken shots at him. In particular, he has been able to remain dedicated even while people have been highly critical of his work. This has helped to enhance his leadership profile.
- Barge, J. K. (1994). Leadership: Communication skills for organizations and groups. St. Martin’s Press.
- De Vries, R. E., Bakker-Pieper, A., & Oostenveld, W. (2010). Leadership= communication? The relations of leaders’ communication styles with leadership styles, knowledge sharing and leadership outcomes. Journal of business and psychology, 25(3), 367-380.
- Shockley-Zalabak, P. (2011). Fundamentals of organizational communication. Pearson Education.