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About Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the former first lady of the United States of America. Having her roots in Chicago Illinois, she demonstrated an extraordinary will and passion for succeeding against all the odds, ranked as a gifted student in her high school education, and later on, in 1985, graduated at the Princeton University with a B.A sociology.
She then joined Harvard University for her law degree and became a lawyer at a Chicago law firm. Her leadership skills elevated her to different posts among them an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley as well as an assistant commissioner of planning and development for the city of Chicago (biography.com).
She later quit her job to aid in the campaigns of her husband towards the presidential seat, and soon afterwards, she became the first lady of the great US following her husband's election in 2004 as the 44th president of the United States. Academically, socially and professionally, Michelle Obama proved a charismatic leader.
The Leadership Theories
Leadership is an interwoven product of a variety of fabrics that make up a functional, influential and competent individual. To cater for all the variations and autonomy expected in leaders, four theories were devised;
the trait theory quantifies and qualifies a leader as per their traits;
the behavioral theory presents a leader as a product of their accumulative behaviors;
the contingency theory equated leadership as a sum of behavior and traits while introducing a variable of contingency;
And last but not least, the integrative leadership majorly revolves around charisma. The integrative theory brings on board the traits, behaviours and situation facing a leader as factors that key into their leadership abilities.
Michelle Obama, a Charismatic Leader
A charismatic leader is one who has the ability, or rather the gift of inspiration to impact changes in attitude, commitment and assumptions of their followers, employees or subjects (University of Pretoria 127). These are the leaders who come through for the people who matter to them, in times of crisis and need.
They act as the mirror that gives a clear reflection of the social issues and problems society faces, and go ahead to offer solutions, remedies as well as recommendations. Before even hitting the headlines as an influential and charismatic lady, Michelle was actively involved in the social issues facing women and the minority ethnic groups of the United States. While at Harvard law school, she took a frontline position in advocating for the enrollment and hiring or more students and professors of the minority group through a series of demonstrations.
On the campaign trail for the second term in leadership, Michelle took a keen interest on the Hispanics who had supported the president, and expressed empathetic concerns on their challenges, acknowledging that the American dream is not as forthcoming to them as the other groups. She dedicated her time in advocating for the education of the girl child, knowing very well that it is through education that they can stand a chance against a world biased against them. She also took it upon herself to fight against sexual violence against women, obesity and overweight in children, and was also passionate on helping women to manage their work as well and mother roles in their lives.
Michelle on Gun Control
The issue of security has for long been a priority to the American country, and this was no different as with the Obama administration. A particular concern was placed on gun control. As a leader aligned to the goals and need of the people she led, Michelle took it upon herself to reach to the citizens affected by gun violence and deaths, and get the message first hand. In a conference with Chicago high school students at Harper high school, she sat away from the distractions of the media and listened to the cries and agony of the students who had in one way or another faced the threat of a gun (Chicago Tribune 2). In many of her conference, public as well as media speeches, Michelle often overemphasized her anti-violence position, as she at times, brought in the real situation of how much violence has taken from her people. She made it her mission and vision to ensure the gun control issue sees the light of day.
Biography.com. Michelle Obama biography. The biography.com. October 21, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/michelle-obama-307592
Chicago Tribune. Michelle Obama talks gun violence with students at home in Chicago. 2013. Pp. 1-4 .Retrieved from http://www.troup.org/userfiles/929/My%20Files/ELA/MS%20ELA/8th%20ELA/Unit%202/Michelle%20Obama%20talks%20Gun%20Violence.pdf?id=26230
The University of Pretoria. Leadership theories and models. Pp. 88-143 .Retrieved from https://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/25691/04chapter4.pdf?sequence=5
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