Part 1: Introduction
“To be leaders is more art than science” (Goleman, 1996, p. 1). Therefore, the art of leadership is very important to study to have great leaders.
As defined by Northouse (2013), leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, and process means that leadership is not a trait or characteristic that resides in the leader, but rather a transactional event that occurs between the leader and the followers (p. 5).
As a result, leadership has different styles; one of them is authentic leadership. It is a unique style of leadership that influences group formation and group decision-making (Northouse, 2013).
Authentic leaders use level 5 leadership to lead organizations effectively. As mentioned by Collins (2001), level 5 leadership blends the paradoxical combination of deep personal humility with intense professional will to transform a good company into a great one (p. 117). Moreover, authentic leaders have effective leadership practices in their organizations. These practices are avoiding the five dysfunctions of a team and using Lencioni’s model for combating silos. While the five dysfunctions of a team are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results, the model for combating silos consists of four components to help achieve the goal of the organization. These components are a thematic goal, a set of defining objectives, a set of ongoing standard operating objectives and metrics. Authentic leaders can use these practices to improve the performance of their organization. They possess certain skills, which is emotional intelligence, to have always better performance.
Emotional intelligence is the art which the successful leader uses to move an organization forward through productive team work (Goleman, 1996).
Accordingly, three topics will be addressed in this paper: why leadership is important, effective leadership practices and skills of leadership.
Continued in September 2016…
Leadership Theory Paper
Fr. Tadros Hirmina
St. Peter Seal of the Martyrs, Coptic Orthodox Church, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Professor Anthony G. Allen
Collins, J. (2001). Level 5 leadership: The triumph of humility and fierce resolve. In HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership (pp. 115-136). USA: Harvard Business Press.
George, B., Sims, P., Mclean, A.N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. In HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership (pp. 163-177). USA: Harvard Business Press.
Goleman, D. (1996). What makes a leader? In HBR’S 10 Must Reads On Leadership (pp. 1-21). USA: Harvard Business Press.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Lencioni, P. (2006). Silos, Politics and Turf Wars. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Maxwell, J. C. (1993). Developing the Leader Within You. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
Maxwell, J. C. (1998). The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership Theory and Practice (6 th ed.). New Delhi, India: SAGE.
Wren, J. T. (1995). Leader’s Companion: Insights on Leadership Through the Ages. New York: The Free Press.
The Lord Jesus Christ, The Leader Above All Leaders
“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:14–15).
Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us His life on earth as an example that we should emulate. Family and Church leaders should strive to follow the pattern of leadership set by the Lord. We can see that the Holy Bible repeatedly mentions the Shepherd, and by definition a shepherd is one who leads the flock. The Holy Bible demonstrates the Good and only Shepherd for our Church, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Leaders should have love and concern for those they lead and shepherd. You will find through Christ’s teachings that shepherds love their sheep and try to earn their trust. The sheep know, love, and trust the Shepherd above all others. A good shepherd will do every thing for his sheep. He leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects, protects, and even gives his life for his sheep. Christ contrasts the shepherd with the hireling, who abandons the sheep in times of danger because he does not love them.
The Apostle Paul understood this philosophy, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). The Christian leader is one who follows Christ and inspires others to follow Him as well. So as a shepherd you should:
1. Feed and nourish
1- As a Christian leader you will feed and nourish, with the Word of God. Just as the shepherd leads his flock to the lushest pasture so that they may grow and flourish; likewise, the Christian leader leads his flock to the source of food, which will provide the ultimate growth for the Christians. The Holy Bible is the only diet that can produce healthy Christians. “Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
2- The Christian leader also comforts his flock (his sheep), binds up their wounds, and gives them compassion and love. The Lord Himself promised to comfort His people “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick, but I will destroy the fat and strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:16). As Christians in the world today, we suffer many injuries to our spirits, and we need compassionate leaders who will bear our burdens with us and have sympathy towards us. Leaders need to encourage their people and bring their troubles and concerns and lay them at the feet of Christ through lifting up of prayer on their behalf.
3- As a shepherd uses his crook to pull a wandering sheep back into the fold, so the Christian leader corrects and disciplines those in their care when they go astray. The Christian leader must correct according to scriptural principles. Correction or discipline is never a pleasant experience for either party, but the Christian leader who fails in this area is not exhibiting love for those in his care. “For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delighted” (Proverbs 3:12), And the Christian leader must follow His example.
4- The Christian leader is a great protector. The shepherd who is lax in this area, surely will loose one of his sheep. The predators today are those who try to lure the sheep away with false doctrine, dismissing the Bible as quaint and old fashioned, insufficient, unclear, or unknowable. Those who stand against Christ and His kingdom perpetrate these lies. And the Lord Jesus Christ warned us: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Our leaders must protect us from the false teachings of those who lead us astray from the truth of the Scripture and from the fact that Christ alone is the way to salvation: “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).