Obama and the Four Frames of Leadership

650 words | 3 page(s)

The four frames of leadership outlined by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal are different ways for leaders to approach the problems they may come across during their time in power. Barack Obama, the current president of the United States, is a good example of a leader who uses a variety of these frames to make important decisions regarding the running of our country. It is crucial to remain flexible as a leader and to be able to switch from frame to frame in different situations.

First, Obama utilizes the Political frame of leadership. This branch is important because it helps different groups to work together and to come to agreements with each other. The Political frame is especially essential the president because it is crucial to be able to work with various types of people. For example, Obama is known for reaching out to many different groups. He is able to work with African Americans because they are able to relate to him, he attempts to help the poor by providing welfare for those who need it, and he offers assistance to the LGBT community by supporting their fight for marriage rights. By working with all of these groups, Obama serves as an advocate and helps to build a stronger community for the United States overall.

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The president also makes use of the Symbolic frame of leadership. It is important to use this branch in order to inspire the people to support a leader. A good example of this can be seen when Obama used ten giant Greek columns as the backdrop for his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. The columns were probably used to symbolize the importance of the convention and to highlight the power that was granted to him by being the president. Additionally, the columns added a classical feel to the speech, giving the impression that this convention really meant something. By using the Symbolic frame, Obama serves as a prophet-like figure, showing there is greatness to come.

Finally, Obama also uses the Human Resources frame of leadership. This frame is important because it is used to help empower the people to make better changes in their lives and aims to impact their feelings toward a particular political movement. One way that Obama utilizes the Human Resources frame is by providing healthcare for those who have no other way to access such benefits. His healthcare plan also helps the people to feel better about themselves because they have more options to take care of themselves. Utilizing the Human Resources frame helps Obama to serve as a catalyst or servant in order to help support the citizens of this country.

Unfortunately, sometimes Obama does not do a good job using all of the different frames of leadership. For example, he does not seem to be very good at compromise. Instead of getting both sides of congress to work together in different situations, Obama tends to point the finger at the Republicans, blaming them for all of the various difficulties they come across. Sometimes it seems as if he is attempting to use the Political frame in these situations. Here, though, it would be best for Obama to consider implementing the Structural frame of leadership, which seeks to organize and build alliances among different groups. This way, he could get congress to work together better rather than simply putting the blame on one single group. In Structural leadership, Obama could serve as an architect of sorts, ready to build alliances and design a better way of utilizing team work.

Overall, it is clear that each branch of the four frames of leadership can be very valuable in different situations. For the most part, Obama does a good job using a variety of frames for the many different problems that may arise in governing our country, though sometimes it would be wise to consider other methods.

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