[July 12, 2020] Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, has some sage advice for young people. Today, I’m introducing his 10 rules for success. Evan Carmichael compiled these from a series of speech’s Obama has given over the past few years.1 Readers of this leadership blog will see the commonality of these rules with my regular themes.
I had a few readers suggest President Obama as one of a series of senior leaders that might be useful to study. I know that politics these days can be divisive. Indeed this is unfortunate. But there is plenty to learn from those who have been successful in what they do. While personal character matters a great deal, we still cannot ignore success.
Here are 10 Rules for Success that Obama suggests may help folks:
- Move the Ball Forward
- Have hope
- Don’t get complacent
- Stay Focused
- You Can’t do it Alone
- Commit to Something Bigger
- Stop Making Excuses
- Don’t Take Yourself too Seriously
- Stick to Your Plan
- Follow Your Passion
Some will say that “#7 Stop Making Excuses” is something Obama failed personally to do while he was in the White House. Critics suggest that he went on an “apology tour” for transgressions of the U.S.; they didn’t appreciate it. This problem doesn’t take away from the “rule” itself. In a Morehouse College commencement speech, Obama elaborates more and does an excellent job of explaining this idea.2,3 I recommend you watch the video.
On the whole, however, these 10 rules of success are a good start. One thing left out, and Obama speaks to the issue elsewhere, is that a person’s character is the linchpin for good works and life success. Tell the truth, take on responsibility, and take care of your family, yourself, and your community. These are the things that allow us to achieve great things.
- Barack Obama’s Top 10 Rules for Success (YouTube video, 13:01 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3xZ_wpn_Sk&t=697s