From the start his run, Barack Obama ‘s mentality on airy leading has already been deemed appealing but unstable. At the tallness of the Obama and Hilary Clinton Campaign, Obama had already drawn his distinguishable positions on how to regulate a state. He envisioned himself as a president who assumes the function of the main executive of the state whose focal point is to confer foresight, judgement, and motive in leading. Obama did non program to straight pull off the bureaus under him but instead delegate those undertakings. The caput of the bureau is hence hold accountable for whatever turns out of his bureau. ( O’Toole, 2008 )
Obama ‘s vision reflected a Reaganesque organisational carefreeness. Nonetheless, Obama exercised well-studied doctrine of leading. His attack is implicative of his ability to transport out the alterations that the people are looking for. Obama articulates theories of leading, a really popular topic of research to day of the month. In this paper, we describe three theories of leading ( trait theory, accomplishment theory, and situational theory ) and how it applies to Obama. We will besides analyze which of these three leading theories best exemplified Obama ‘s manner of leading.
Trait Theory of Leadership
The trait attack was among the first systematic effort to analyse leading. However, the term “ trait ” itself can be equivocal as it may mention to different sorts of personality, temper, or abilities. It may besides mention both to the physical and demographic features of an person ( Zaccaro et al, 2004 ) . But if pertaining to a leader, Zaccaro et Al. ( 2004 ) describes traits as ‘relatively stable and consistent integratings of personal features that foster a consistent form of leading public presentation across a assortment of group and organisational state of affairss ‘ . These properties indicate an array of single differentiations, including motivations, abilities, etc.
In the early 1900 ‘s, traits of leaders were analyzed to set up what made selected people singular leaders. These surveies centered on nailing the built-in properties of outstanding leaders. It was hypothesized that already possess these traits from the minute they are born and so merely “ great ” people have them. Thu, during the early twentieth century, surveies were focused on placing the specific traits that draw the line between leader and followings ( Northouse, 2007 ) .
It is hence non surprising that there are many theories about leading traits for leading is considered a disputing undertaking with heavy duties. It is supposed that these traits give people with the devising of a leader to transport out the indispensable efforts required for them to go successful. This impression on leading brought about research workers to roll up a list of traits and associated abilities correlated with leading.
Kirkpatrick and Locke ( 1991 ) place six traits that differentiate leaders and non-leaders:
Drive – This trait pertain to the ability of a leader to exercise high degree of attempt. He should hold the proper accomplishment, aspiration, doggedness, energy and novice.
Leadership Motivation – A leader must be willing to take the duty and he must be must the capacity to act upon other people.
Honesty/Integrity – These values is the baseline of successful relationship between a leader and a follower. Without these, leading is unstable.
Self-confidence – Assurance enables a leader to put to death hard determinations and earn the trust of his followings.
Cognitive Ability – A leader must hold has superior rational capacity that will enable him to analyse legion state of affairss, and strategize solutions to jobs.
Knowledge of Business – A good apprehension of concern enables a leader to do well-reasoned determinations and be cognizant of their deductions.
Harmonizing to Benis ( 1994 ) , a leader may come in all sizes, gender, and form. What affair he or she had the proper mix of traits what will do him a good leader. These traits include a guiding vision where a leader must concentrate his strength. A leader must besides hold the passion to perpetrate to an action, the unity that will be the foundation of trust, and the ability to take hazard and undertake the unknown.
Barack Obama easy fits the description of a leader from the trait position. A survey done by College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota on the personality profile of Obama revealed that he is ambitious and confident. Obama is besides suiting, congenial, and painstaking to a certain grade. These combination of traits classifies Obama ‘s personality as “ confident make-peace ” .
Leaderships with this type of personality, despite being self-confident and ambitious are besides by and large considerate and compassionate. They have the appeal and ability for settling differences and prefer mediation over coercion as the agencies for settling struggles.
Such surveies present a pragmatically-based model for foretelling Obama ‘s public presentation as the leader of the state. Apart from the traits mentioned above, Obama is besides anticipated to exhibit the undermentioned traits:
Give more importance to undertakings than relationship
Preference to garner information from different beginnings instead than his functionaries entirely
When covering with the Congress, he may seek to avoid struggle by staying above the disturbance
Personally support his policies instead than trust his on his staff to talk for him.
As expected, Obama behaved in those ways. From the minute he started his run, he has been invariably scrutinized for his every action. However, his win was non because of his ability to play the game of political relations efficaciously but because he has efficaciously communicated his vision.
Obama has been able to continue the aura and behaviour of a leader throughout his run and showed first-class illustrations on how leading should be executed. One of the most of import determiners of his success was Obama ‘s ability to ardently show his vision which he efficaciously aligned with the people ‘s vision. At clip of the presidential run, many Americans were dissatisfied with the manner America was governed and many people were losing hope as a consequence of the planetary fiscal crisis. Obama was able to touch this facet in his vision by offering hope and promising to reconstruct good leading in the state.
Situational Theory of Leadership
Another attack in analyzing leading is the situational attack. The basic premise of this attack is that a state of affairs can impact the type of leading demanded. Th male parent of the situational attack is Hersey and Blanchard and this was based on Reddin ‘s 3-D direction manner theory.
In this surroundings, Sills ( 1991 ) defines state of affairs as a ‘set of values and attitudes with which the person or group has to cover in a procedure of activity and with respect to which this activity is planned and its consequences appreciated. Every concrete activity is the solution of a state of affairs. ‘ It may dwell of intricate matter. Harmonizing to Sills ( 1991 ) , a state of affairs has five elements:
the construction of interpersonal relationships within the group ;
the features of the group as a whole ;
the features of the group ‘s environment from which members come ;
physical restraints on the group ; and
the perceptual representation, within the group and among its members, of these elements and the “ attitudes and values engendered by them ”
Situational factors therefore keep a leader to suit his manner of leading to a current state of affairs. This has a directing and supportive consequence. A leader who takes into history situational influences comprehends that the capablenesss of a group member is non fixed, hence, the leader ‘s directing and supportive chases should besides change with the state of affairs ( Northouse, 2007 ) . Over the old ages, there have already been several alterations of the original statements of he situational attack but until now it remains to be an of import elements of preparations for organisational leading and development.
The situational theory typifies leading into four types:
S1 – high directive-low supportive
S2 – high directive-high supportive
S3 – low directive-high supportive
S4 – low directive-low supportive.
Hersey and Blanchard maintain that a leader ‘s manner, whether he is the type that delegates or participates, differs depending on the willingness of his followings to transport out that undertaking assigned ( McCaffery, 2004 ) . The situational leading ( SLII ) theoretical account is used to explicate how each of the four manners applies relates to followings who work at changing phases of development: ( 1 ) D1 – depression in competency and high in committedness, ( 2 ) D2 – reasonably competent and low in committedness, ( 3 ) D3 – reasonably competent but missing committedness, and ( 4 ) D4 – great trade of competency and a high grade of committedness. To be an effectual, the leader must acknowledge the degree of his followings for a given undertaking and put to death the type of leading that is suited to the state of affairs.
Among the strengths of the situational attack is it is simple to grok and its pertinence to in assorted state of affairss. It is besides a tried method for developing leaders due to its normative nature and because it illustrates how a leader must move in order to go successful. The situational attack besides allows room for flexibleness It does non nail a peculiar type of leading to be most effectual but instead it shows that several manners may be required depending on the demands of a state of affairs.
The reverse of this attack is the claims that are the deficiency of research that can to the full back up the claims made by the attack. The footings of motion of a subsidiary from on degree of development to another are non besides well-defines. The situational attack does non besides steer a leader on how the theoretical account can used be group scenes.
Undertaking Obama ‘s leading in footings of the situational attack is a batch more hard than undertaking him in footings of trait or accomplishments attack. This is because there is demand to see already non merely the leader but besides the state of affairss he have been into and how he responded to them. Obama has been frequently criticized for his hapless response to state of affairss and for his deficiency for engagement. Some have said that he is adept at presenting traveling addresss but one time pressed for solutions to a struggle, he delegates the occupation to other people.
From the minute Obama took on the presidential term, he has faced many critical issues which included the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the mussy foreign policies, frail international dealingss, intensifying wellness attention jobs, and an economic system which is already on the threshold of fall ining. Obama has vocally stated his penchant of deputing undertakings instead straight pull offing them ( O’Toole, 2008 ) . However, he was able to suit his manner of leading to the demands of the state of affairs. Apart from deputing people, he has besides empowered them. By making so, Obama has played an of import function in assisting his subsidiaries reach their highest degrees of professional development. Obama has invariably stressed the importance of non merely engaging the most qualified people but besides authorising them. With this scheme in head, Obama was able to lift from merely being a director to a leader. He has set the differentiation of a leader who can act upon his people from director who merely manages and maintains state of affairss.
Skills Theory of Leadership
The 3rd theory leading being examined is the leading skills attack. While the trait attack looks into the personality of leader, situational attack in the behaviour or the ability of a leader to set to a state of affairs, the accomplishment attack looks into the cognition and capablenesss of a leader. A leader may larn several accomplishments that he will do him a great 1. The accomplishment and trait attack has different focal point but both centres on the leader as the chief intent.
Research workers have long studied leading accomplishments. There are two accepted theoretical accounts. The first theoretical account wad developed by Robert Katz in 1955. The 2nd one is developed by more late ( 2000 ) by Michael Mumford and his co-workers. The two theoretical accounts regards each other as they offer differing positions on leading based on the accomplishments position.
Kats laid down three accomplishments that a leader must hold: proficient accomplishments, human accomplishments, and conceptual accomplishments. Harmonizing to him, these accomplishments are distinguishable from the traits of a leader. A leader will ever be characterized by his traits, but will be his accomplishments that will find his achievements. A proficient accomplishment refers to knowledge and proficiency on a certain activity. An illustration of which is the ability to utilize programming linguistic communications.
Human skills pertain to the ability mingle with people. It is rather different from proficient accomplishments which are about working with objects. Human accomplishments are really of import in edifice relationship and effectual communicating with people. The 3rd one, conceptual accomplishments, pertains to the ability of a leader to gestate thoughts. These accomplishments will let to him to grok and make up one’s mind which actions are necessary when faced with a peculiar state of affairs.
Munford et Al. developed a new theoretical account and they proposed that a leader must hold these five accomplishments: single property, competences, leading results, calling experiences, and environmental influences. This theoretical account is better known as the capacity theoretical account as it looks into the correlativity of a leader ‘s cognition and abilities, and his public presentation. Abilities are taken as an facet that can be significantly improved through instruction and experience.
Individual attributes has four constituents: ( 1 ) general cognitive ability ( intelligence ) , ( 2 ) crystallized cognitive ability ( acquired intelligence through experience ) , ( 3 ) motive ( willingness to take ) , and ( 4 ) personality. Competences include problem-solving accomplishments, societal judgement accomplishments and cognition and are at the bosom of the accomplishments theoretical account.
The consequences of a good leading are efficaciously job resolution and public presentation. This is achieved by the ability to craft solutions which are logical and does non brood on on-hand information entirely. A leader ‘s public presentation is an deduction of the extent by which he was able to make his responsibility.
Experience has besides a great consequence on the competence of a leader. Harmonizing to the capableness theoretical account, the experient gained by a leader in the class of his carreer affects his cognition of work outing complicated jobs. Mumforet et Al recognizes that leaders can be improved by disputing undertakings and preparations.
The strength of the accomplishment attack is it is the lone attack that concretized the procedure of leading based accomplishments. By making so, it makes leading more unfastened to everyone as it offers a larger position of leading by integrating a broad array of constituents such as problem-solving accomplishments and societal judgement accomplishments. The accomplishments attack besides defines a construction that is in line leading instruction plans ( Northouse, 2007 ) .
Barack Obama is good known for his accomplishments even before he became the president of the Unites States of America. He obtained his jurisprudence grade from the Havard University and was awarded the award Juris Doctor magna semen laude. Before come ining political relations, he taught constitutional jurisprudence at the University of Chicago for eight twelvemonth. He has besides practiced as a civil rights attorney. This makes him well-versed with the statute laws of the state. While working as a professor and a attorney, Obama has penned a book. He besides initiated and participated in a batch of plans. One of these plans is Illinois ‘ Project Vote, a thrust which has been successful in registering about 400,000 African Americans in the province.
Obama has served as province senator from 1997 to 2004. As a province senator, he has supported several measures on the reformation of wellness attention and moralss Torahs. He besides supported a measure which increases the tax-credits of lo-income workers. He has besides done important occupation on the issue of racism by go throughing the jurisprudence to supervise racial profiling.
In drumhead, Obama wan non pitted to US Presidency in hastiness. He may be immature but he has accomplishments required of a leader. Obama ‘s human accomplishments are one his most admired accomplishments. His ability to efficaciously pass on his vision is partially due to his good public relation. He has a message and he has the agencies to efficaciously pass on it. Obama has besides been able to developed consistence in his human accomplishments that his success in act uponing others is partially attributed to it.
We have discussed in theories of leading utilizing manner, situational, and skill attack and applied them in analysing the leading of a president leader, Barack Obama.
The trait attack topographic points attending on the leader entirely without taking into history his followings and state of affairss. The attack assumes that a leader ‘s traits are determines the success of the leading procedure. It can be safely said therefore that a individual that has the traits of great leader is the 1 with the best potency to take.
The state of affairs attack argues that leading non a fixed facet but instead a variable one depending on a state of affairs. The type of leading required varies from one state of affairs another. An effectual leader has the ability to set his manner of leading depending on the demands of a distension on the degree of development of his followings.
The accomplishments attack, merely as the trait attack, places its attending to the leader. This attack fundamentally says that there are certain that leaders must possess or develop in order to transport out his occupation efficaciously. The accomplishments that a leader must possess are typified in into several types including proficiency in certain countries, effectual communicating and relationship accomplishments, and ability to gestate, analyze state of affairss, and trade schemes.
Of the three leading theories discussed, the most that applies to Obama ‘s manner of leading are the trait and skill attack. These are theories are easier to measure as they focus on the leader entirely. Analyzing Obama in footings of the situational attack calls for a more elaborate survey as it needs careful scrutiny of Obama ‘s responses into assorted state of affairss in his presidential calling. Of the two applicable attacks, the trait attack best applies to Obama. See his traits entirely, he is a qualified leader. He has the thrust and motive to transport out his vision and he has the effectual agencies of interpreting that vision into actions. Obama besides has the assurance and rational capacity required of a leader for him to be successful.