First Hundred Days

One may think that the measurement of leadership prowess during the first 100 days of a president is a uniquely American phenomenon. However, the concept actually was taken from French history. Historians used it to describe the dramatic period in 1815 in which Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile to regain his throne as emperor, to his staggering defeat at Waterloo that ended his reign. Although there hasn’t been a U.S. president who has lost his office in 100 days, quite a few have suffered their own versions of Waterloo.

As President Barack Obama marks his 100th day in office, Black Enterprise Magazine Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle examines how our nation’s chief executives have fared since 1933, the beginning of the modern presidency. From FDR to Obama, we reveal each president’s philosophy, style, challenges and initiatives. Although not an exact sciences, a review of a president’s first 100 days offers valuable insight into why some leaders soar while others crash and burn. And their examples may just hold a few valuable lessons for you.  (Additional research by Christina Faison)

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