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Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States in 2008. During his presidency, his leadership style was described at times as transformational, servant, charismatic, dysfunctional, extreme, and non-existent. Regardless of different perceptions, leaders must interact with many to accomplish goals and advance organizations. Leaders also interact with a small group of close advisors or confidants who lend guidance and support in return for increased loyalty and/or favoritism. This dynamic of interacting with a small group yet having to rely on the support of a larger group is critical to the leadership process and known as leader–member exchange theory (LMX). This case study examines President Obama’s use of LMX throughout his political career, especially during his years as President of the United States.

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