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President Barack Obama

Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States. When was elected president in 2008, he became the first African American to hold the office. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. He’s the author of four books, including A Promised Land.

“Whether it’s business, politics, or the nonprofit sector – every so often going back to first principles. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? What’s important to me in this enterprise?”

— President Barack Obama
Featured in these episodes:
President Barack Obama, guest
May 18, 2021

Creating a prototype isn’t the same as leading a team of thousands. You need to keep your mission constant, but your tactics fluid as you scale. This is the challenge President Barack Obama faced after winning the 2008 election. In the second part of interview, we dive into how he grappled with the Great Recession, the Affordable Care Act, and the disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov. Through it all, he learned to let first principles guide the way, even as he and his staff adapted to new realities and changing rules.

President Barack Obama, guest
May 11, 2021

Politics and entrepreneurship have much in common: Both versions of scale leadership require strategic patience, hard work, a clear vision of a better future, an unshakable belief that you can bring that future to life – and the ideal opportunity to make it all come together. President Barack Obama sits down with Reid Hoffman in Part 1 of our two-part episode on finding the right moment to act, and when the moment chooses you.