Advice from the Coach-In-Chief

Posted 04.03.2009

It’s been a busy week of travel, speaking and coaching and I haven’t had as much time as usual to focus on writing the Friday post.  So it seems like a good time to bring on a guest blogger.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the well known leadership coach, President Barack Obama.

Obama-coach Fresh from his maiden performance at the G20 Economic Summit in London, what follows is a verbatim excerpt from the transcript of Obama’s press conference at the Summit.  When I first heard Obama’s answer to a question about his approach to participating in the meeting, I thought, "That’s a pretty good definition of what leaders – public sector and private sector – need to do." For ease of consumption, I’ll present his comments in bullet point fashion with some bold face type but, otherwise, this is what he said with no edits:

  • “We exercise our leadership best when we are listening;
  • when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries;
  • when we lead by example;
  • when we show some element of humility
  • and recognize that we may not always have the best answer, but we can always encourage the best answer and support the best answer.”

Those seem like five solid principles for any leader.  What’s your take?