All great success stories include obstacles. For former President Barack Obama, there was no shortage. As our first NSLS Leadership Library selection, Barack Obama's memoir A Promised Land is a story of resiliency against all odds and how to lead with grit and integrity.
The former Speaker Broadcast guest managed to rise from an unremarkable childhood, to Ivy League student, to President, all while maintaining a persona that was captivating, eloquent, and tough.
He’s the same person who demanded affordable healthcare for all and had to make extremely difficult military decisions at the same time. He offers many lessons—notably tough decision-making, perseverance, and finding the right tone to be a calming voice when times get hard.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner stepped into his presidency during one of the worst economies in US history while still at war. He definitely had his work cut out for him.
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From the Audacity of Hope to the Presidency
Barack Obama's career began as a community organizer, helping stabilize communities in Chicago that were negatively affected by steel plant closures. Always dedicated to enacting positive change, he made it his mission to rise in politics so he could create change faster.
His political career began at a monumental loss in a run for the House of Representatives. At the time, he also maxed out his credit card and was denied entry into the Democratic National Convention.
Four years later, he'd be giving the DNC's keynote address, where he'd coin the phrase, "the audacity of hope," leading to his election into the Senate a few weeks later. His inspiring autobiography fits into the personal success genre and also history, as he details his time in office.
A Promised Land: Key Takeaways
In A Promised Land, this barrier-breaking leader writes about:
- Battling racial bigotry throughout his life and career
- Education as a way out toward a better life
- Growing up without a father and in a mixed-race household
- Meeting the love of his life, Michelle Obama
- Approaching speech-writing and public speaking
- Dealing with the press, naysayers, and rumor mills
- Organizing a grassroots effort to change the course of history, becoming the first Black President of the United States
Get the first volume of Barack Obama's presidential memoirs and learn about his improbable rise to the highest office in the United States.