Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on the 20th of November, 1942, Joe Biden served in office as the 47th vice president of the United States of America with his tenure starting in 2009 and ending in 2017, deputizing President Barack Obama. A lawyer by training and an experienced politician, he is the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee for the 2020 election. He is going to challenge the incumbent and the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.
A leader of excellence, many lessons can be learned from his way of doing things, especially positions of leadership and authority. The following sections are eight leadership lessons from the man who holds the record of the sixth youngest senator in the history of the United States of America:
- Resilience: A great leadership trait of Joe Biden is his resilience. This is a man who never gives up. Even though many know him as the Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 elections, that is not his first shot at the land’s highest office. In 1988 and 2008, Biden ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he failed – but he never stopped.
- Service: Biden is a leader who serves irrespective of the background of the person he is serving. For example, he accepted to be deputy to President Obama even though he is decades older and more experienced. He served Obama very well, and he served the nation too in different capacities. For example, he worked as a United States senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009 and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2007 to 2009. Biden was also the chair of the International Narcotics Control Caucus from 2007 to 2009 and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995, but that was not all. He was a member of the New Castle County Council from the 4th district from 1970 to 1972. Biden always expressed his sterling leadership qualities by serving others.
- Courage in the Face of Odds: Even when things looked complicated, challenging and severe, Biden never balked at moving forward. His spirit’s tenacity motivated him to be a prominent advocate for the United States-Russia New START Treaty (a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the two nations). This was a very tough and challenging deal to pull off, but Biden did it.
- Compassion: Biden had always been a man with the love of the people in his heart, and this reflects in his several actions in office. He believes that a core aspect of leadership is showing compassion to the people. He channels his energy into anything that will be of benefit to the masses. This explains why he put in a lot of effort into the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The United States Congress passed this vital act on the 1st of January, 2013, and it was signed into law by President Barack Obama the next day. The act made provisions like an extension of federal unemployment benefits for one year without having budget offsets in any other area. The bill’s passage would not have been possible without the negotiations held between the members of the Obama administration and the Senate. The final deal was due to the concerted efforts of Vice Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell in his capacity as the Senate Minority Leader.
- Forming Personal Relationships: One of Biden’s most excellent leadership traits is the ability to develop close personal relationships with others. In fact, in 2017, he stated categorically that one crucial feature of successful leaders is knowing how to form relationships personally. He explained that it is not just in politics that one should build personal relationships but in every aspect of life, at home, in office, and even in business. Biden clarified that this trait can come in very handy when things get tough on this trait. He recalled that as a politician when he won election to the Senate around 30, his family was confronted by a tragedy. Shortly after, he won the polls, and just days to Christmas, he received a call, and the caller told him his wife and daughter are dead, and his sons were almost dead. A tractor-trailer had hit them. His other senators encouraged him to attend his swearing-in ceremony, but he chose to head straight to the hospital. That was how he was sworn in inside a hospital because he did not want to leave his sons’ side and got the full support of his colleagues. According to Biden, his colleagues spontaneously came to his side to support him whenever there was a tragedy was a positive sign of leadership based on the close personal relationship that he had forged with them.
- Determination: In 2017, Biden was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, which is the highest honor a civilian can be given in the United States of America. While on the podium receiving this prestigious honor, Biden narrated another aspect of his life that made him into the world-class leader that he is – stressing the importance of remaining determined even in the face of challenges, obstacles, and overwhelming tragedies. While remembering his father’s advice, Biden explained that the measure of a man is not the number of times that he was knocked down but how swiftly he gets up each time he is knocked down. Hence, it would help if you did not let all kinds of struggles or even tragedies stop you from achieving your goals.
- Learning from Mistakes: For Biden, making a mistake is not the end of your life, and he is good at learning from the past to upgrade his legacy. In 1988, when he tried to secure the ticket for the presidential race, false claims about his academic records snowballed into a scandal. Still, he later accepted his flaws, apologized, and pledged to be better in the future and that was precisely what he did.
- Perseverance: If there is anything visible in Biden as a great leader, he can persevere even in the face of setbacks. For instance, in 2015, he suffered another personal tragedy when his eldest son Beau died of brain cancer when he was aged 46. Even though the tragedy cut him deep like a hot knife, it did not kill his vision to lead the nation. Biden will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders that the world has ever seen.