Obama’s management style

My liberal friends on Facebook have been passing around a poster that discusses good and bad management styles:

From everything I’ve heard, per that chart, Obama is a boss, not a leader.  Somehow this point seems to have eluded Obama’s supporters.

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  • cerumendoc

    Unless you’ve worked in the private sector you won’t know that distinction.  And, that  distinction also applies to the military; to the point that soldiers will follow a leader past the gates of hell whereas the ‘boss’ gets a grenade accidentally  tossed his way.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Not even a boss.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Just some puppet the Left pulls the strings of. They couldn’t get the puppet they wanted in Bush, so now they create their own, which is typical of Leftist SOP.

  • Kevin_B

    I’m getting at this from a perspective as a non-American. Obama doesn’t seem to really be either of these two. If I had to pick one though, he seems much more like a boss, and an exceptionally bad one at that.

    As to leadership and managment style… my take (without any experience) is that there might be more of continuum or blend of these two particular styles. There are more than two possible managment styles. It is also very well possible a different managment or leadership style works best in different circumstances.
    In any case, Obama fails in his leadership, whatever his style may be. When it comes to the islamic world, he’s a downright appeaser. Which is not a way of leading at all, is it?

  • Gringo

    In general, the POTUS is  a boss, with at least one glaring exception: Knows how it is done.
    The only thing the POTUS knows how to do is campaign. Excuse me: he also knows how to read a speech from a teleprompter. The POTUS is a two-trick pony. 
    Coincidentally, I am now reading a book about Captain Joe Rochefort, who led the code-breaking team at Pearl Harbor that was responsible for supplying the intelligence about Japanese fleet movement that helped the Americans beat the Japanese at Midway. In addition to having outstanding skills as a linguist, codebreaker, and intelligence analyst, Captain Rochefort was an outstanding leader. He led by example, working longer hours than anyone else. He was remembered as helping his subordinates do their jobs, and taking the flak for his men when outside units criticized one of his subordinates.  For example, one of his subordinates was criticized for not giving the proper location of a given Japanese ship. Rochefort went directly to the unit responsible for the criticism, and showed that the person making the criticism was not able to detect the distinction between North Latitude and South Latitude.
    While his subordinates revered him, and his immediate superiors commended him highly for his ability to get things done, he made enemies over the years by criticizing  others outside his units who did not adhere to his high standards.  Not long after  the victory ad Midway, for which Captain Rochefort had a fair amount of responsibility, enemies in the Navy bureaucracy in DC removed him from his intelligence position at Pearl Harbor.  
    http://tinyurl.com/6vyakfr   Joe Rochefort’s War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway

  • 94Corvette

    I’ve always been told that a boss is just a backwards double SOB.

    I have had the blessing of learning from some wonderful leaders through the years.  I heard once that it is hard to learn the subtle skills that a true leader has because they do it so effortlessly you don’t really notice.  A bad boss is easy to learn from as their faults are so glaring you would have to be blind to miss them. 

    While as a Naval Officer, my Captain was such a leader that to this day, some 35 years later, I still revere him.  Our ship was undergoing overhaul and I was in the barbershop trimming my beard when our ship was  bumped by a tug. The clippers cut a hole in my beard so I went ahead and cut it off and restarted it.  Just as I was getting a good start, the Captain and I were walking down a passageway when he put his hand on my shoulder and said, Lt., you sure looked better without a beard.  I immediately went to my stateroom and shaved it off, not  out of fear of what he would do if I didn’t but out of respect for him.  I found some papers he needed to sign so I took them in to him.  He looked up when I entered his stateroom and though he didn’t say a word, his smile said it all.  He fought like a honeybadger for us through that overhaul and because of his standing up for his men and his ship, we made it.  (A side story, he had a ugly old Chevy Impala that the boatswains mates painted to be a replica of our ship, haze gray complete with all the numbers and draft markings, and a helo landing deck on his roof).   Sadly, just after we completed overhaul and were about to depart for Ref-Tra, he went in for a routine physical and they found his headaches (which he never complained about) were caused by a brain tumor.  He never left the hospital. We excelled for him through the refresher training we had and then on the Unitas cruise we completed immediately afterwards.

    It is fitting that we ook at leadership on Father’s Day.  A great dad is like a great leader and sad to say in these days and times, they are getting rarer and rarer.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Kevin_B, if you are not a native English speaker, you could have fooled me!

    Give us a hint from whence you come…a continent even. I believe we will all gain greatly from your perspectives.

    Incidentally, English was my third, native-born language, so you are not alone. 

  • Kevin_B

    I’m from Flanders, the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.

    I, of course, studies English in school, and have for several years now spent a lot of my free time on websites in English. I also have to read English scientific literature for educational purposes.

    I believe my perspectives are likely rather different.

    • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

      Kevin_B: I too am very impressed with your English. You write much better than many American young people. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. English was my Dad’s third language, and he spoke and wrote it exquisitely.

      I love Flanders. Or maybe I should say I loved Flanders, as I was last there some 25 years ago. Medieval Flemish art (van Eyck, van der Weyden, etc.) is my absolute favorite type of art, and it was thrilling to be in the land that gave rise to those artists. The countryside is like a painting, and the towns (Ghent and Bruge) just overwhelmed me with their beauty. And did I mentioned the chocolate? It’s the best, absolutely the best.

      I’m glad that you’re visiting my blog and sharing your perspective.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Difference is why America exists.

  • Kevin_B

    Well, let’s just say English is the language I use most when I’m navigating ‘cyberspace’.

    I have been on English websites where I found the writing to be rather bad… and the people writing were native speakers.
    I can’t speak about Flanders 25 years ago… I wasn’t even alive at the time. However, the cities of Ghent and Bruges are indeed beautiful cities, and we have a nice countryside, which I would though guess has changed – a lot – in the last 25 years. The picture has go to be different, way different. I’m not super fond of medieval art, but admittedly, it’s pretty nice. Chocolate? Yes, we still have that, and it’s nice. I don’t know about Belgian beer (another famous product) though, as I’m a teetotaler.

    Anyway, I will continue reading this blog, and if possible, share my perspective. That of a European is bound to be (very?) different from that of any American. If I were to hazard a guess, I think I might not be as conservative as the author and commentators on this blog. My perspective is, I guess, probably more centered. While definitely not agreeing with some things, there’s a lot of things on here that I’m sympathetic towards. 
    One of the things that I like on this blog, are the articles on islam and the islamic world. I’m rather strongly anti-islam. The rise of islam is rather obvious in the city of Antwerp, were I’m in University. A major change in the last 25 years in Flanders, that is, I guess. And one for the absolute worst.
    I’m also interested in (world) politics – however much I may dislike politics, they matter.
    Y: E pluribus unum, right?
    I’ll stop now. Greetings.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Good to know, Kevn_B.

    I so know something about Flanders, having lived in Belgium a number of years. I agree with Book, wonderful place. I enjoy the people, the history, the fries (frites) and the great beer, too. 

    Your EUropean perspective will be much appreciated. I guarantee you that your English is far better than our Flemish.

    Het is een plezir met u ten ontmoeten (did I get that right?).

  • Kevin_B

    Hm, nice to meet some Americans who know where Flanders/Belgium are. I’ve met some Americans who don’t know where Belgium is, or what Flanders is. 
    Without getting into the tribulations and turmoils of Belgian politics here, I must say I feel far more Flemish than Belgian. And however I may (in my opinion rightfully) complain about my country and region, its politics and some/many of its residents, I still like the place, and I’m not unhappy about having born and living here.
    The right phrase would be “Het is een plezier u te ontmoeten”, Mr. Lemieux.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    I agree with Kevin: the effective executive will blend the columns, though with a preference to the right side when possible. One executive of my acquaintance was fond of the phrase “fix problems, not blame”….but he also understood that blame must sometimes ultimately be placed.

    The Lean mantra ask why five times has great value….it is more effective to do sophisticated root-cause analysis than to blindly strike out with blaming…but sometimes, there ARE individuals who aren’t doing what they need to be doing, and can’t be taught or persuaded to do so in any relevant time frame. In such cases, it’s time to make a change.

    Obama is almost completely a blamer; he shows very little interest in the kind of problem analysis called for by as “fix the breakdown” approach. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    What women executives often fail in is by doing too much talking and listening, and not enough crushing of heads. So they don’t blame people, even when those people are responsible for failures. This then shatters the morale of the loyalists and gives people more reasons to look for Number 1, and thus the corporation fails due to a lack of leadership and morale