Maybe the most important:

No factions.

Obama was new to national politics, so new, in fact, that his circle of advisers and confidants hadn't yet fractured into competing camps with different philosophies. No factions means fewer leaks to the press.

As the campaign progressed, disagreements hardened and some advisers started to regularly ally with others against others, but Obama seems to have figured out a way to make sure that everyone in his inner circle felt empowered just enough; that they felt as if their views were being solicited and respected.

So -- no real factions, no leaks, little drama.

If there's a leadership lesson here, it's: cultivate productive disagreement by refusing to align yourself with any particular point of view; seek input from everyone; don't buy into the cult of the singular adviser or strategist.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.