Situational theory focuses on personal characteristics as important elements of the situation when determining effective leadership. Barack Obama’s racial mixture, diverse family tree and unique upbringing formed the situation from which the 44th president of the United States emerged. His life experiences molded him into a leader that has adaptability.
Early in Obama’s career he was a community organizer for Developing Communities Project (DCP). This group was dedicated to improving the living condition in poor areas of Chicago. During his three-year term the staff grew from one to thirteen and the budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000.
He took his understanding of what it was like to be an outsider. He is of mixed race. He had the ability to find common ground. He could “sell” his ideas to those that needed it but he also took the time to listen to those that needed. Loretta Augustine-Herron remembered Mr. Obama sitting in her kitchen for several hours. He wanted to know what made her tick, her goals and her family. He would recall these details long afterward.
Working in one of the poorest neighbourhoods Chicago, Obama built this organization by inspiring the religious communities to reach out to these poor. He believed that improvements could be made. He took this vision and was able to convince a number of pastors to enlist their churches as members of the Developing Communities Project.
Many of the people in this neighbourhood lacked education, finances, or experiences. Mr. Obama provided these people with hope. He encouraged their input and their desires. He gave them the leadership that they needed to believe in themselves.
Mr. Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. He became a senior lecturer, this is a posting usually held by a few federal judges. He improvised textbooks, brought the early 1900 horrors of racism to the classroom and promoted frank discussions. He used the classroom for refining...