Barack Obama served as the President of the United States of America from 2009 through 2017. He, our 44th president, holds the distinction of being the first African-American President.

Before becoming President, Obama practiced law and a popular politician, served the State of Illinois as a state senator from 1997 until 2004. Former President Obama was (and still is) well-known for his inspirational quotes in speeches, during interviews, on social media, and in print.

Obama took on an unenviable role as President. The job was not easy. He took the Oath of Office during an economic recession. Additionally, the nation had two ongoing wars in foreign countries and an extremely low international favorability rating. His plans for the United States included financial reforms, alternative energy, improved education reforms, health-care for all, and reducing the national debt.

Former President Obama then spent the next eight years of his life and career pushing for all of his presidential goals. He never lost sight of what he promised the American citizens in the beginning and, although he was not perfect, he did his best and pleased a majority of the nation.

Former President Barack Obama and Positivity

Throughout all of his accomplishments and hardships during his presidency, Barack Hussein Obama II stayed positive and remained a leader in our country. Because of this, we are left with an endless amount of inspirational quotes about leadership from former President Obama. His powerful words reached around the globe, giving everyone a boost of motivation when it came to leadership.

Background Information About Former President Obama

The former President of the United States is the son of parents who are from Kenya (his father) and Kansas (his mother, who was born on a military base). Obama was raised in Hawaii (where he was born), but he left home to attend college in Los Angeles at Occidental College, New York at Columbia University, and then in Massachusetts at Harvard Law School.

At Harvard Law School, he served as President of the Harvard Law Review, which is a student-led group that releases a publication once a month reviewing court rulings, including the Supreme Court rulings. He then began his career in Chicago, beginning a long-time service to the state of Illinois.

Political Career

Obama served on the Illinois State Senate and was later elected as a United States senator in 2004. His post stayed in Illinois throughout this political career, until becoming President of the United States in 2009. He brought his wife, the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, and their two daughters Malia and Sasha with him to the White House.

Inspirational Quotes About Leadership From Barack Obama

1 – “I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.”

2 – “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

3 – “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

4 – “We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.”

5 – “We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.”


6. “There is probably a perverse pride in my administration…that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”

7 – “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”
– The 44th President of the United States: Obama

8 – “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused. That’s when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That’s when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power – because none of us are there to speak up and stop them.”

9 – “Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office – though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isn’t your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country – an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you.”

10 -“In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power – including strong and principled diplomacy.”

11. “That’s what Americans do when others are in need – we help. We give. We inspire.”
Barack Obama

12 –  “Where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

13 – “Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. Keep asking why. Don’t settle for what you already know. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world.”

14 – “If you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like or who you love.”

15 – “The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room, and then to start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved.”

16 – “You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.”

17 – “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk.”

18. “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

19 – “We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn’t come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn’t do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell.”

20 – “With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.”

21 – “On every front, there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger, but we’re going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.”

Final Thoughts On Inspirational Quotes About Leadership From Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama worked hard his entire life. He grew up in a middle-class family in America. And he worked his way through college, including Harvard Law School. Eventually, he made his way to becoming President of the United States of America.

Throughout all of his years of hard work, he remained a leader, which resulted in a large number of inspirational quotes about leadership from the one and only Barack Hussein Obama II. Even for those who didn’t support his presidency, the inspirational quotes were helpful, motivating, and uplifting.