A Look Back: Did Obama Unlock His Success Code?

A Look Back: Did Obama Unlock His Success Code?

A Look Back: Did Obama Unlock His Success Code?

Barack Obama left his Presidential office last month on a personal high note, as 6 in 10 Americans approving of his job performance, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found. In honor of his last eight years of service, we hope to present an analysis of his business leadership skills according to BG5. As you read this article, you’ll get an overview of some key elements of our 44th President of the United States’ Career Design.   From an objective perspective, we will focus on highlighting six of Barack Obama’s critical business skills and what it means to his leadership style.

We will be approaching this analysis in terms of the ideals and what is possible based on the aspects of his Unique Career Design.  All of us have tremendous potential, yet at the same time we also have shadows and distractions that can distract from fully expressing who we are.

Did Obama demonstrate these six aspects of his Unique Career Design in his role as the President of the United States or not?  You Decide…


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The system used to analyze Barack Obama’s design is called BG5 (Base Group 5). BG5 is the Career and Business application of the Human Design System.

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Obama is designed to be a profoundly wise and trusted leader, a patient source of imagination, hope and advice, sharing the lessons of the past and grounded in supporting the needs of his people to creatively, naturally guide us to a new empowering future.



Barack Obama is an Advisor Career Type, designed to guide others to success through  a deep emotional intelligence that gives him strengths of imagination and recognition of feelings.

Throughout his life, one strength is designed to be constant: his imagination shared through a profound recognition of feelings and a desire for new experiences. My feeling is that he captured the imagination of the American public with his empowering vision for the future, recognizing the feelings that would bring us together, sharing his desire to make those dreams of a better tomorrow a reality.

As an Advisor, Obama does not have a consistent, reliable source of personal energy to go, go, go, go, go.  Some of his critics condemned him by saying he was “lazy.”  This is a common misconception of Advisors. He is not designed to be constantly on the go like 70% of the population who have a Builder Career Type.  Advisors operate best by leading through delegation and guiding the process and energy of others.

You can visibly see how the eight years of stress, pressure and long hours took it’s toll.

Photo: Dan Winters NYMag.com

Photo: Dan Winters NYMag.com

“Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.” — Barack Obama, during the entertaining White House Correspondents’ Dinner, April 30th, 2016

Like the next President, Donald Trump, Obama also consistently produces emotional chemistry due to his defined Emotional Intelligence Function and is designed to be correctly motivated by Hope. However, they have very different leadership characteristics and qualities.

Obama is designed to share the value of patience when it comes to guiding the hopes and dreams of others. His design requires that he apply correct timing for speaking or acting, waiting to be recognized and invited into endeavors and then entering only when he has emotional clarity. For Obama to generate or manifest without exhausting himself, it is best that he work in partnership, one-on-one to be the wise role model that other people recognize as a leader they can trust.

Obama’s magnetic, refined presence is designed to attract recognition and invitation from others. When you’re the sole focus of his attention, he can penetrate deeply into you energetically to sense who you are. As an Advisor, he is a natural-born leader who rose to influence through education and experience. Both are critical for this type to develop leadership skills over time. For Advisors, their knowledge and relationships are vital to their success and well-being.

Since Obama is emotionally defined, he can discern who is right for him only if he waits for others to recognize and invite his leadership, then trusts the emotional intelligence of his Emotional Intelligence to guide his words and actions through careful, patient observation.


  1. Oversight
  2. Vision
  3. Implementation
  4. Commitment
  5. Reliability
  6. Administration

“These are innate skills, which doesn’t mean he is automatically good at them – but they are easy for him to learn and develop.” – Karen Sherwood, Instructor at the BG5 Business Institute


Barack’s conscious, core essence lends him the management ability to reflect on the lessons of past experiences and having secrets shared with him. Oversight is Barak’s most critical business skill because this is how he fulfills his purpose: through the process of efficiently guiding manifestation. The American people voted him into the presidential office because of their recognition that he is someone with the oversight needed to rebuild our nation, and is designed to guide us as a trusted leader.

Oversight is the ability to oversee an entire operation and make sure everything runs smoothly.  Obama is intended to develop wisdom over his lifetime through making mistakes in his first thirty years about what it takes to be the eyes and ears monitoring both the people he serves and fellow team members. Obama has learned to observe and monitor how things have been going to prevent loss of trust and capital. He’s here to make sure what’s supposed to get done, does! Barack can take past experiences and create policies, procedures, and effective practices to efficiently handle complaints or issues to foster loyalty. He can contemplate the big picture of what it means to be receptive to experiences and learn the lessons necessary to guide the collective to success.

Obama Finds Revitalization in Retreat

Barack likely recognizes the importance of having privacy and time alone to reflect on life’s experiences. He is genetically wired to “let go” in retreat and discover the revitalization that allowing regular breaks can bring him. Those who appreciate his presence can pick up on his gift of guidance and ask him to share his wisdom that is synthesized from collective memories with them. His depth of perception and emotional clarity over time helps him recognize what he needs to share with others when they invite his advice. With this right timing, he can have tremendous success in facilitating manifestation on behalf of those he serves.


SKILL #2: Obama’s Business Skill of Vision

Barack has the natural ability to establish new directions for his team.  He points the way for how to spend money efficiently.  This is the direction we are moving towards.  Barack provides the potential for internally marketing insight and guidance on how to use the resources the group has. He empowers the team in knowing their products/service and overseeing the day-to-day operations. Barack helps the group decide how to best spend the money it has. He also helps the group understand their resource capacity and guide them to using those resources wisely. This skill is what gives the enterprise the direction it needs. He helps answer the questions, “Where are we going now and how should we spend available resources to get us there?”

Obama Unconsciously Communicates Higher Knowing

Barack carries an un-learnable, natural alignment with empowering a new direction for others who invite him. As long as he is emotionally clear, Barack can correctly guide their actions when he is called upon. Barack’s life purpose requires interaction with specific others to activate his inner sense of direction. The direction he imparts can be about the path of life or work. When interacting, Barack has an inherent sense of where someone or something needs to go.  He can direct others’ distribution of the resources they need to support their creative endeavors. Barack is here to communicate the higher knowing of his unconscious gift of being a visionary, pointing the way forward in natural alignment with beauty in new, empowering ways.


SKILL #3: Obama’s Business Skill of Implementation

Barack has the ability to get the team’s product or service out the door into the hands of the people. He can find innovative ways to creatively express the vision of his team. Barack can implement the mission of the group, a vital skill of sales. Implementation relies on people like Barack who can demonstrate the vision and put into creative action the message of the team so that it can be seen and experienced by others. He has the natural ability to attract attention to which allows his team to get new customers.

Obama’s Creative Self-Expression

Barack’s focused, naturally empowered vision is grounded and balanced with a deep need to express himself in naturally unique and creative ways. His body unconsciously embodies the archetype of the “artist” carrying and expressing himself with a real artistic flair. His art is his creative self-expression in working with people. Barack has the natural ability to inspire in unique and innovative ways. Simply doing his own thing attracts attention and can impact how others do their own thing. Barack’s creativity can empower others through its unique expression. Working alone yet connecting with others to delegate and guide works best for him.


Skill #4: Obama’s Business Skill of Commitment

Barack brings detailed networking ability to help a group commit to a goal and achieve it. Barack’s determined leadership helps everyone get on the same page and commit to a common purpose and the work that needs to be done to achieve this aim. He instills a “Three Musketeers” style loyalty, an All for One and  One for All” feeling. When Barack is around, people work for the good of the team to take care of their responsibilities and get along well with each other. He gives everyone a feeling of being an “insider” that encourages a sense of belonging, so they don’t share insider secrets—this is external integrity. With Barack around, people are willing to invest their time and energy to being dedicated to making the team work to build internal resources. His energy expresses the sentiment of “We’re all on the same page and committed to working together.”

Obama’s Seeing and Sharing of Unusual Perseverance

An environment where people are determined, adaptable and resilient in making commitments is where Barack is designed to fulfill his life purpose of transpersonal refinement. Barack is sensitive to seeing people make mistakes in fulfilling their obligations, or commit to saying yes to the right things that may nonetheless go wrong, but that impart a valuable experience to discover. He is here to learn and share the insecurities of commitment and can persevere despite difficulties. Barack has an unusual way of saying yes to a new cycle of life, adapting to struggle as a necessary— yet not permanent—state. Saying yes correctly when he is recognized for his leadership and invited to be a guide, and through emotional clarity allows Barack to persevere through whatever shows up on his path.

It is best for Barack to refrain from initiating new endeavors, and instead to wait to be invited for his gifts, and then to be very emotionally clear before committing his limited energy. It’s also helpful for him to remember let go of any expectation of outcomes and just enjoy the experience for the sake of discovery.

It is best for Barack to be very emotionally clear before committing his limited energy to any endeavor he’s invited into. It’s also helpful for him to remember let go of any expectation of the outcome and just enjoy the experience for the sake of discovery.


SKILL #5: Obama’s Business Skill of Reliability

Barack embodies  modesty and is a team player. Great leaders are people who build up other leaders. His networking skills can pull a group together into a reliable team.  Any group that invites him to lead is more stable and dependable with Barack around. Barack can magnetically attract and pull a diversity of different people together so that the group is cohesive. Having Barack present discourages turnover and instills a sense of everyone being connected to each other. Barack helps build a sense of friendship within the group. With everyone more reliable, the members logically share confidence in each other. Reliability and consistency build friendship and trust. With Barack around, people are more likely to trust each other, so there are feelings of teamwork and an assurance of safety. Barack can guide teams to increased efficiency and produce good work on a consistent basis.

Obama Consciously Values Modesty

Barack carries this archetype of the politician, valuing the love of humanity and expresses it to the people he knows. He has learned over his lifetime to use modesty as a shield against the exposure of inadequacy. He is logically receptive to patterns that are valuable to his network, yet he may feel uncomfortable when personally locked into fixed daily patterns that don’t allow him to express his extreme flow. Barack does not have set rhythms or patterns in his life when it comes to sleep, busyness, food preference He has an ability to adapt to the extremes of the daily rhythm of life, and in fact, it is healthy for him to have diversity and fluidity. Barack can accept other people’s extremes without judgment, so long as they are behaving in the way he logically recognizes humans should act for us all to get along. People are naturally attracted to his charisma.


SKILL #6: Obama’s Business Skill of Administration

Barack can put logical plans into action by giving out and making sure everyone knows their roles to do the necessary work. He organizes the group to help everyone stay on top of things. Barack’s here to consciously communicate his skill of guiding manifestation and action. Barack delivers influential, forward-thinking leadership to help administer the plans the team develops, sharing logical systems and policies for servicing the collective. When emotionally clear, he determines details to establish an effective chain-of-command and policies that make the team more efficient.

Barack’s Communication of Influence

Barack is designed to be a detailed, influential leader. Barack’s skill is being able to investigate, discern and describe a logical path for a new direction and share his guidance on how to do it. Wise delegation is crucial. His influence comes from what he says when he is recognized and invited and is emotionally clear. Barack’s ability to lead through his influence must take into account the needs of his followers.  For Barack, right timing equals greater impact. Being asked signals Barack that others are ready to hear what he has to say.


Obama’s Large Business Characteristics

This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analyzing Obama’s Career Design. BG5 is about analyzing individual career designs and engineering small businesses (3-5 people, a “Penta”). OC16, on the other hand, represents organizing channels of 2 to 4 Pentas plus an Alpha Leader (“Wa” is the term for 10 to 16 people) and covers the hierarchy and roles people can play in larger businesses.  In addition to these core business skills covered above, Obama has several OC16 leadership characteristics and qualities that give him his large organization potentials of Implementation, Structure, and Planning.


In Conclusion:

Watching President Obama’s Farewell Speech, I was moved by his wisdom of communication. His carefully chosen words and images stirred feelings within me, just from the tones in his voice. The feeling of inclusion of all, the feeling of accomplishment, and I resonated to the palpable feeling of hope for the future.

Whether you are considering becoming—or are currently studying to be—a Human Design Professional or BG5 Career and Business Consultant, consider what you know of President Obama and see if you can recognize how his design points to his leadership style.  Do you feel Barack Obama cracked his personal Success Code? Did Obama demonstrate these six aspects of his Unique Career Design in his role as the President of the United States or not? What additional comments would you like to share?