Why yes, he did it. Barack Obama accomplished something that had eluded the government for nearly a decade: he nailed Osama bin Laden. And he didn’t do it through brute force or bullying, but through focus, discipline and most importantly, leadership.
Obama is inspirational, not just as a commander-in-chief but also as a CEO. As cliché as this might sound, he makes me want to be a better CEO—someone who can filter out all the chatter and stay focused on both my short- and long-term goals. Obama's strength as a leader came through loud and clear on health care reform, the auto industry turnaround, financial reform and now with the end of Bin Laden. He has had serious wins. CEOs need to lead and win, and women CEOs need to learn how to do it.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned about leadership by watching President Obama.
It’s important to define a problem, focus on what it is you want, and then go for it without getting sidetracked or deterred. It’s like what athletes are taught: Keep your eye on the ball, and never take it off.
No doubt about it, Obama is disciplined, perhaps the most disciplined president we’ve had. His restraint peeks through in almost everything he does. You can see the wheels in his head churning even when he’s not speaking. But he waits for the right time to react, and then he acts, just as he did with bin Laden.
Obama is known for his vision. We saw it in his books, in his life and in his presidential campaigns. He got elected when so many people thought he didn't have a chance. He envisioned something—“Yes we can!”—he went for it, and he got it.
4. Long-range planning
You don’t become president without long-range planning. Nor do you execute one of the most brilliant coups in recent history without it.
5. Strategic decision-making
As Obama mentioned in his speech, the bin Laden attack was long in the making. The president had gotten some fairly reliable intelligence, but he didn’t strike until he was sure. He weighed the options, calculated the risks, kept it under wraps…and then made his move. That’s a leader.