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In a surprise announcement, the Nobel Committee awarded U.S. President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to create global cooperation. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to receive the award and the third to receive it while in office. In a press conference following the announcement, the President acknowledged that the award was the culmination of the efforts of many leaders that inspired him.


  1. In his press conference, President Obama acknowledged the role of “transformative figures.” Examine the characteristics of transformational leadership. In what ways might transformational leadership advance the peace process globally?
  2. The President outlined a number of global issues (e.g., Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) that he considers very important in terms of global peace. What aspect of transformational leadership does this represent?
  3. Using any one of the three main contingency approaches to leadership (i.e., Fiedler, Hersey & Blanchard, House), how would you describe President Obama’s leadership style?

SOURCE: S. Wilson, “Nobel for Obama Brings Praise, Ire,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at

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