Essay about Leadership Flashcard
Thousands of definitions have been written to identify characteristics that effective leaders should possess; however it is impossible for leaders to be effective if they are unable to understand that true leaders are called by Christ, are servants to Christ, and must seek the vision of Christ.
Through Christ, leaders recognize and address the needs of their followers by elevating and empowering them, and will inevitably fail if they allow themselves to simply rule and not consider the moral and ethical implication of their work (Burns, 2003). This essay will examine (a) what defines a good leader, (b) what constitutes an ideal leader, (c) pitfalls of leadership that should be avoided by good leaders, (d)problems leaders are encountering with managing diverse work forces and ever-changing technology, (e) five dysfunctional leadership styles as explained in the book titled Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership.
What defines a good leader? Good leaders are possessed with the desire and will power to become an effective leader. Good leaders make a practice of self-development and improving leadership skills through continual study, training, education, and experience. Good leaders have a vision of the future and where they are prepared to lead their organizations to maximize opportunities. Good leaders are both motivated and motivators.
These leaders are able to challenge themselves and accomplish new tasks while promoting trust by using communication that is open, readily admitting that they are sometimes challenged by new tasks, and asking and receiving assistance when needed. Good leaders practice integrity in all that they do in their personal and professional lives. Good leaders identify the need for change and work to facilitate change that is ongoing, interactive, and iterative (Facilitating Organization Change, 2005). Good leaders put the organization’s interests above personal and professional interests. What constitutes an ideal leader?
Ideal leaders are spiritual leaders that are not motivated and directed by their own agendas but instead seek guidance from the Holy Spirit (Blackaby ; Blackaby, 2001). The motivation of the Christian leader is the purpose of God and the welfare of the people that they are responsible for leading. The ideal Leader is servant first, and later develops the aspiration to be a leader, always understanding that he is not servant to the organization or to the people, instead he is servant to God. The ideal leader’s spiritual gift is leadership and they are called by God to lead. The Apostle Paul said “We all have gifts.
They differ in keeping with the grace that God has given each of us”. If the spiritual gift is to lead, we should work hard at it (Romans 12: 6-8). The ideal leader’s vision is not necessarily the vision that maximizes opportunity for the organization; his/her vision is the vision that is manifested by God. The ideal leader seeks God in all that he does and leads with the direction of the Holy Spirit. Pitfalls of Leadership that should be avoided by good leaders Pride is a leading pitfall that should be avoided. Pride deludes leaders into thinking that they are both infallible and indispensable.
According to scriptures “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18) Arrogance is another pitfall that should be avoided. Leaders should never allow arrogance to creep in and lead them to assume that they should be served by the people. A good leader works alongside his people to effectively get the job done. A good leader never places himself above the people that he has agreed to lead. Leaders should never forget the benefit of praise and affirmation. According to Phyllis Theroux, people never tire of compliments (DeSwardt, 2006.
Leaders should refrain from assuming the mantle of sole decision maker, when every decision has to be cleared through the leader, people do not feel a sense of achievement and the leader is exhibiting dictatorship in opposed to leadership. Overcoming ever-changing technology and managing diverse work forces. Leaders complain that cutting-edge communication technology often takes away time needed to think and reflect on decisions. At the touch of a finger questions and answers can be sent, reports can be generated and one-on-one communication can be established virtually anywhere in the world.
Perhaps what these leaders are really saying is that they are resisting change. Technology is here to stay and leaders have to get on board and become proficient in it’s use because many of the people that are being led are very proficient in the latest I pads, IPods, cell phones, email, Skype, and many other forms of communication. If a leader is being pounded with so many messages that the thought process is being impaired, I suggest turning off your I Pad and taking time out to speak with Jesus, lest we allow anything or anybody to separate us from hearing and understanding what Jesus intends for us to do.
Taylor Cox suggests that the core of modern organizational leadership is managing diversity (Blackaby ; Blackaby, 2001). No longer can leaders expect that their entire team will share their cultural values, worldviews, or perspectives. This problem is not specific to secular organizations but is emerging in the church as well. Leaders are challenged with creating unified teams that can work together even though politics, worldviews, moral, and social issues are drastically different.
The key is leading through the Holy Spirit, the expectations of Jesus are the same today, tomorrow, and always. Five dysfunctional leadership styles These five dysfunctional styles and their characteristics have been identified by the author as leadership styles that create major problems, if not identified, understood, and dealt with through the teachings of Jesus (McIntosh ; Rima, 2007): * The Compulsive Leader-Is rigid, has the need to completely control all aspects of his life, pursues perfection to an extreme, and is angry and rebellious.
An example of this leader is the person that determines that he will not be at the mercy of any negative events, so he strives to control everything. Before the compulsive leader can be worked with, he/she has to first identify that they are compulsive and determine the root of the behavior. He should then accept the teachings of Jesus and allow Jesus to be in control because the battle is not his, it is the Lord’s. * The Narcissistic Leader-Vain, stuck-on-themselves, needs to always be the center of attention, tend to devalue others strength while elevating their strengths.
Sigmund Freud described narcissistic as being highly distrustful and emotionally isolated (Maccoby, 2000). An example of the narcissistic leader is the pastor that preaches sermons to impress the congregation and fuel his/her ego, rather than allowing the words of the Holy Spirit to guide them. The narcissistic leader needs to submit to Jesus, and allow Jesus to salve their need for esteem and personal adequacy by finding satisfaction in Jesus. * The Paranoid Leader- has an inferiority complex and lives in fear of others being smarter, and more competent.
An example of a paranoid leader is an instructor who refuses to allow anyone to teach a concept for fear the person will be perceived as doing a better job than the instructor. The paranoid leader should look to God as his protector and understand, by allowing others to move forward does not diminish him and his effectiveness. * Co-dependent Leaders-are not considered leaders, rather are looked upon as reactors and cannot be depended on to give accurate information. The co-dependent leader’s identity is based on what others think of him.
An example of the codependent leader is the person that attempts to keep everyone happy. To redeem their co-dependent behavior, the leader has to desist from identifying with what others think and concentrate on identifying with hearing and understanding what God thinks, codependency will then be with God rather than with others. The Passive/Aggressive Leader- Needs to control everything and if not allowed to be in control will passively reject performing. Passive aggressive leaders develop habits of being chronically late for appointments or meetings.
An example of the passive aggressive leader is one that controls situations by scheduling meetings at the same time or leaving early so that he does not have to show accountability. Passive aggressive leaders often attempt to establish control by having tantrums of outbursts. The passive aggressive leader fears success. The passive aggressive leader should seek God’s vision and work on achieving that vision rather than manipulations designed to control others. There are thousands of definitions written in an attempt to explore and add meaning to what characterizes true leaders.
Sadly, most of these definitions fall short because they suggest that man is the master of his fate, while decimating the power of Jesus. True and effective leaders are called by Jesus, given a vision that emanates the teaching of Jesus, and the tools to achieve this vision. References 7 Ways to facilitate change within your organization. (2005). Bizmanualz. Retrieved from http://www. bizmanualz. com/information/2005/03/11/7-ways-to-facilitate-change-within-your-organization. html Blackaby, H. , ; Blackaby, R. (2001).
Spiritual leadership: moving people on to god’s agenda. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman ; Holman. Burns, J. M. (2003). Transforming Leadership. New York, NY 10003: Grove Press. De Swardt, G. (2006). What makes good leaders go bad? Shills Portal, 35(150), Maccoby, M. (2000). Narcissistic leaders: the incredible pros, the inevitable cons. Harvard Business Review McIntosh, G. , ; Rima, S. (2007). Overcoming the dark side of leadership: how to become an effective leader by confronting potential failures (2 ed. ). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.