Personal Philosophy of Leadership
|Subject:||🧓🏼 Personal Experience|
|Topics:||💪 Personal Strengths, ✝️ Christianity, Bible, Leadership|
Table of Contents
Leadership is as old as the human race, and it has often determined the historical context of the human past. Different leaders have used different leadership styles, which have led to different outcome in their styles of governance. Some leadership styles have led to wars, while others enhanced peace. Different leadership styles exist, including autocratic, democratic, transformational and transactional leadership. However, no leadership style can be said to be absolutely perfect, thus from a Christian perspective, for a leader to be perfect, he/she must seek inspiration from God and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. It would thus be important to analyze the Christian perspective of leadership as well as examining transformational leadership style.
According to Northouse (2013), there are as many definitions of leadership as those who have attempted to define the term. However, leadership can be summarized to be the capacity to lead others. In any organization or social group, there is bound to be some form of leadership, whether it is formal or informal. This implies that the history of leadership is as old as the history of the human race. Different leadership styles have been applied with different results in many organizations and countries, and in as much as there is no leadership style which is absolutely perfect, scholars have agreed that some leadership styles are better than others. Therefore, to understand leadership and how it impacts individuals and the society, this paper is purposed to assess of leadership preference as a way of understanding my leadership style. This will be done with categorical inference to the Cristian account of leadership as well as describing my personal leadership styles and tendencies.
The Christian leader
Leadership is a very important and respectable position in Christianity (Cooper, 2005). Christians hold a belief that leaders are chosen by God, and the best leadership traits were those shown by Jesus Christ. In the book of Ephesians 2:10, the scripture states that “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This implies that God has the ability to use people with or without the natural ability or proper background to lead. Therefore, a person does not necessarily have to have the natural drive, good models, or training in leadership to become a Christian leader. The case of Moses, for instance, is the best demonstration of what Christian leadership entails. In Exodus 3: 1-17, God calls Moses to go and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Nevertheless, Moses had natural inabilities such as being difficult in talking, which he sees as an undoing for a leader, but God is able to transform this to his advantage.
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Owing to his acceptance of God’s the call, Moses is among the few leaders who have been known for generations. Apostle Paul supports the notion that anyone can be a leader in 1 Corinthians 1: 26-28 when he says that “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” In the Gospel of Saint Luke, the disciples who became the founding fathers of the church such as Peter were fishermen and tax collectors by trade, implying that Christianity visualizes everyone as having the potentiality of becoming a leader (Bible, 2011).
Christianity equally holds that a good leader is one who seeks God’s direction. In Proverbs 16:3, the scripture states that “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” This implies that a Christian leader should be in constant communication with God for his/her leadership plans to succeed. Moreover, a good leader must be modest and not arrogant. According to Proverbs 16:5, Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord and will be punished, hence a leader must be able to be modest with his/her followers, give directions in a humble manner and be ready to listen to criticisms. Additionally, a Christian leader must always be optimistic and not let his/her discontentment become disconsolation. When a leader sees an imperfection in the society or the church, he/she must always pray and be optimistic about the ability of the Lord to change the situation to good. This is supported by Hebrews 6:9, stating that “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things – things that belong to salvation” (Bible, 2011).
Another most important attribute of a leader with regards to Christianity is self-control. If a Christian leader is to lead others to God, the leader must not let himself/herself to be led towards the world. Galatians 5:23 asserts that self-control is a fruit of the spirit, thus having self-control is appropriating the power of God to get mastery over emotions and appetites that could lead the leader astray or cause the leader to occupy his/her time with fruitless endeavors (Bialecki, Haynes, & Robbins, 2008). Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything,” which implies that a Christian leader must relentlessly examine his/her life to see whether he/she is enslaved by the world. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Paul further states that “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (Bible, 2011).
My leadership style
My leadership style is transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is probably the most popular leadership style and theory today. Transformational leadership focuses on the followers, motivating them to high levels of performance and in the process, help followers develop their own leadership potentials (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009). Transformational leadership has four components, which are commonly referred to as the four I’s of transformational leadership. The first component is the idealized influence. With regard to this component, a transformational leader serves as an ideal role model for the followers and walks the talk, which makes the followers to admire the leader.
The second component of transformational leadership is inspirational motivation. Here, the leader must present with the ability to inspire and motivate the followers for the achievement of the common objectives. The combination of idealized influence and inspirational motivation attributes are what constitutes the transformational leader’s charisma (Bass & Avolio, 2013). Another critical component of transformational leadership is individualized consideration. With regard to this component, a transformational leader must demonstrate genuine concern for the needs and feelings of the followers. The personal attention attribute of a transformational leader to each follower is a critical element in bringing out the very best efforts of the followers.
The last component of transformational leadership is intellectual stimulation. Here, the leader challenges the followers to be creative and innovative. It is commonly misunderstood that transformational leaders are “soft,” though the truth is that the leader consistently challenges the followers to higher levels of performance. However, to ensure that the followers perform as best as they can, transformational leaders often have a clear communication network with the followers, which makes it possible for the leader to communicate clear and specific objectives as well as elaborating to the followers the means necessary for the achievement of the objectives. This makes it possible for the objectives to be met in a timely manner and with a high level of efficiency (Fitzgerald & Schutte, 2010).
Based on the assessment of from Northouse (2013), I can effectively conform to be a transformational leader. With regards to the leadership assessment results, in the Skills Inventory Assessment, I scored 30 on Conceptual Skill, 30 on Human Skill and 28 on Technical skill, with all the skills necessary for transformational leadership. The next area of assessment was on leadership behavior where I scored 46 on task and 48 on the relationship. In as much I scored high results in both task and relationship, it appeared I lean towards the relationship, which is classical for transformational leadership.
The third area of assessment was Path-Goal Leadership, and directive was my highest at 35, Supportive style at 32, participative style at 27 and Achievement Oriented at 28, with all these scores supporting my transformational leadership traits. In the LMX Questionnaire, I score 29 which is considered high which implies that I have a good relationship with both my leaders and followers, which is an important attribute of a transformational leader. Lastly, on Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment, I scored 14 on self-Awareness, 19 on internalized moral perspective, 14 on balanced processing and 12 on relational transparency, which are all good scores for a transformational leader.
Some of the strengths of my leadership style are that it allows for the quick formulation of vision. Transformational leaders are quick to assess an organization’s current situation and formulate a vision for its improvement and growth. Moreover, transformational leaders communicate their vision properly to other leaders in their organization and to all the employees, which helps in dealing with challenging situations as all the stakeholders can see the bigger picture. Transformational leadership equally promotes enthusiasm, as individuals get inspired and worth through self-motivation in organizations that are managed through transformational leadership. Another important strength of transformational leadership is that it uses inspiration to motivate the people. This enables the transformational leader to get his/her followers to optimize their levels of performance. Moreover, during difficult times, transformational leaders would depend on their passion for helping sell their vision and get employees to head to a common direction (Eisenbeiss, van Knippenberg, & Boerner, 2008).
Nevertheless, some of the critical weaknesses of my leadership style are that transformational leadership might overlook reality and truth. Research studies have indicated that transformational leaders might fall into the trap of over depending on passion and emotion that they would tend to overlook reality and truth. Additionally, transformational leadership carries the potential of abuse. In as much as transformational leadership is powerful, not all those associated with the leadership approach portray positive qualities, such as Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden who abused the attributes of transformational leadership. Transformation leadership connects with Christian leadership in that both points at the need for a leader to be dedicated, self-respecting and able to inspire the followers with a shared vision. Christianity asserts that a leader is born with some natural traits such as compassion, a view which transformational leadership shares while asserting that a leader must have some natural traits such as empathy (Ramsey, 2005).
Leadership is necessary for planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating activities of a group or an organization. Without strong leadership in a group or organization, it will always be difficult to achieve the objective in an efficient and timely manner. This is why Christianity recognizes the importance of leadership, not only in the church but also in the society, with examples of strong Christian leaders such as Moses and Jesus acting as models to the current leaders. Transformational leadership is thus one of the best leadership styles that ensure the success of both teams and organization through its inspirational nature.
- Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2013). Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture. International Journal of Public Administration, 17, 112–121.
- Bialecki, J., Haynes, N., & Robbins, J. (2008). The Anthropology of Christianity. Religion Compass, 2, 1139–1158.
- Bible. (2011). Holy Bible, New international version.
- Cooper, M. T. (2005). The transformational leadership of the apostle Paul: a contextual and biblical leadership for contemporary ministry. Christian Education Journal, 2, 48–61.
- Eisenbeiss, S. A., van Knippenberg, D., & Boerner, S. (2008). Transformational leadership and team innovation: integrating team climate principles. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1438–1446.
- Fitzgerald, S., & Schutte, N. S. (2010). Increasing transformational leadership through enhancing self-efficacy. Journal of Management Development.
- Gumusluoglu, L., & Ilsev, A. (2009). Transformational leadership, creativity, and organizational innovation. Journal of Business Research, 62, 461–473.
- Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
- Ramsey, R. (2005). Reviewing leadership: A christian evaluation of current approaches. Christian Education Journal, 2, 200–204.