Thursday, March 26, 2009

President Obama and Leadership

Tuesday evening I watched President Obama's speech and subsequent press conference.

Wednesday morning I resumed my Bible study. I am now in Judges.

Now I am thinking about leadership.

There was certainly a notable lack of good leadership in Israel and the people paid dearly because of it. The Bible hides nothing but relates it all whether good or bad.

But what about our own leadership?

I liked President Obama's press conference. For one thing I like the fact that he held one. And I liked that the speech part was short and to the point. I liked that he took questions from the press corps. I thought his answers were too long although I understand the subject of our economy is exceedingly complex. I thought the questions were irritatingly shallow. I don't know if they are screened or not.

The President and I have different perspectives. I would do things differently if I were working on these problems. On the other hand I do recognize that the problems facing the country are quite severe. I think it would be unconscionable for us to do nothing. But there are probably as many "what to do" ideas as there are people. But we have one President at a time and we all participated in our system a few months ago that put Mr. Obama in office. So these are his problems now to solve.

But I am not so interested right now in his solutions as I am in his effort to lead us.

I think he has done pretty well so far.

For one thing he is setting what I consider to be a very good example.

In the press conference he did not do a lot of finger pointing. In fact he admitted there were many reasons why our current situation exists. He exercised a lot of self-control while admitting that he was indeed angry. He even said that anger and outrage were not going to solve anything. He was very serious and yet projected calm assurance and optimism.

I think one of the first things a leader has to do is set a good example. I think he has done this admirably well. It is too bad that so many on either side of the President fail to follow his example. But at least he's made a start and that's better than nothing at all.

He laid out in summary fashion the problems and briefly discussed the solutions and then gave a reason why he had made his choices. Obviously there will be many who disagree with him as he stated. So I think he projected a certain amount of wisdom in dealing with the problems.

He was encouraging but certainly not Pollyannish.

At the same time he has big goals especially about reforming health care. I, for one, cannot and will not defend the current health care system. And I say that based on my own experience with it for the last decade. As far as I am concerned the way we do things now is nearly insane. I am very willing to give some other ideas a chance.

I think the President shows courage and perseverance to continue to reach for new solutions in the health care area.

I also like the fact that he is remaining faithful to his promises and I like that he is loyal and faithful to his staff. I think those are marks of leadership.

So at this point I think this man, Barak Obama, is showing good marks of leadership and I think he deserves the chance to put his plans into action.

Another mark of leadership is recognizing when you're wrong and adjusting course. We may have already seen some of that with this President but generally it is way too early to know.

That remains for the future. But I am encouraged so far.


~Betsy said...

Mr. Obama may have leadership qualities but his agenda is frighteningly too far left.

He and his administration now want to oversee ALL business. They want the ability to step in when there is something they don't agree with (salaries, bonuses, business decisions, etc.). The AIG mess is a disaster, yet these large bonuses were written into the contracts by Democrats in congress. Mr. Obama and Mr. Geitner claimed they weren't aware of them, yet Geitner was heavily involved in writing the contract. So either he is very dense and he didn't read the final product or he has lied. Geitner doesn't strike me as dense - I imagine he lied.

One of the big campaign promises was transparency, yet the record spending in the stimulus bill was pushed through without the promised posting online. Congress had 12 hours to read and digest 1000 pages before it went to vote. Again, more votes without reading.

So yes, Obama may be a leader but his far left agenda is a slippery slope toward socialism.

Lori1955 said...

The President certainly has leadership qualities and is without a doubt a great orator. However, being a fiscal conservative, I can't agree with his policies. I still think it is too early though to pass judgement on this presidency.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

My views will be most unpopular so I will remain quiet. Dad and I could never talk politics either but we always agreed on one thing, that we would never want to be running this country. I give anyone praise who can do it and especially come in and try to sort out the amount of mess which was left to Obama.

rilera said...

This is a good, and fair post Terry. I wish more people would give him a chance to fix the problems. He is using history as his guide. What most impresses me about him is his attempt to listen to all sides before making a decision. He includes people who might be considered 'devil's advocates' in his decision making; he doesn't just plow ahead without hearing the other sides ideas. That is a true leader in my opinion. said...

Dad, I love ya and you know where I stand on this ... I disagree.

From a leadership point of view, my 'feeling' is he is shooting-from-the-hip most of the time. He's good at townhall meetings and especially when he has his teleprompter but once you have him off the script, I think you see a truer picture of the person that is our President. To me, he bumbles around on ideas, he gaffes as much as previous politicians & leaders but there seems to be a lack of coverage from the mainstream media ... which continues to not give me any confidence in what he is or will do or any of our other 'leaders' in DC. IMHO, all of them are spending way too much money, they haven't done due-diligence, the scape-goat past, present leadership from both sides of the spectrum. It's gross and sick.

You said: "For one thing he is setting what I consider to be a very good example."

How? I don't get it and don't see what he has done to date that is a 'good example'. Our leaders in DC are spending more $s like crazy, we're in a rush to do so without having bi-partisan dialogue, no one reads the documents and then they vote in a few days on something so important.

I didn't watch his press conf from Tuesday so I'm not commenting directly about that as you have written about; however, I have seen, heard and read enough to know that our President, from a policy perspective, is continuing to lead us down a more socialist society. We, as people, will be losing liberties and freedom and we're being led there by leaders who will not be following the status quo.

You mentioned "At the same time he has big goals especially about reforming health care. I, for one, cannot and will not defend the current health care system" and I would agree that our current system is whacked; however, I don't believe everyone getting their health care paid by the GOV'T and letting the GOV'T run our health care system will fix any of the problems, costs etc.

I suppose that if we had the USPS running UPS and FEDEX plus our e-mail abilities through our internet networks then they would do a better job, we would have more innovation, be more competitive, more choices ... no way. Costs would go up, less efficient, we'd be in trouble and not happy with the results.

I just think GOV'T running the health care system is a bad, bad idea. As we talked yesterday, tort reform, pay for what you use as consumers, tax incentives would be better than letting all people have some form of poor health care and letting some health care nazis choosing who gets what procedures based on age, gender, social class etc. Of course, I believe in smaller government so that's my bent...

In closing, I do pray for our President and our country's leadership. I'm not happy with any of our leadership on either side of the aisle, I don't believe that they have our amazing country's best interest at heart and are moving in directions that benefit them for political and power grabs.

Time will tell, we're watching, dialoguing and will see how all of this plays out. As others I have visited with about our current environment, there's a lot of worrying, concern and no confidence ...

Gelato tomorrow... :)

love ya. -J

~Betsy said...

Well said, Jason. :)

arutherford said...

Count me on the side of those who think Obama is indeed a good leader. I certainly feel much safer with a man of his intelect, compassion, eloquence and true family values than I have in several years.

Even on those positions we may disagree with, I think we have to give him a chance. He will make mistakes but I think he will own them and learn from them. Another mark of a great leader.