Approaching Leadership: Behavior that Fosters Growth

By Evan Grizzle, Founder of Worshipsource.org

Every organization has a set of values or code of conduct to which their employees must adhere. This code of conduct is for the benefit of the employee; when this code is followed, their job is protected. This same code is beneficial to the organization; when it is followed, it will yield a reward for the company.

Nevertheless, rarely is there a code designed specifically for leaders to ensure that their individual department will be productive and sustain productivity. This is because each department is different, and so is each leader for that matter. Because of this, some leaders have difficulty attempting to lead their departments in a manner that fosters growth. Even though there isn’t a perfect program out there for becoming a great leader, there are some things we can take into consideration when approaching the subject of leadership.

Consider the behavior of the leader. Research from Ohio State University in the late 1940s revealed two leadership behaviors that they believed effective leaders possess: 1) Consideration and 2) Initiating Structure.

Consideration is the extent to which a leader cares for his or her followers. Initiating Structure is the extent to which a leader will structure the roles of their followers, or his or her own role, in order to attain certain goals. Robbins and Judge (2009) state that leaders who display these two behaviors appear to be more effective than leaders who do not.

According to Fischer (2009) and the earlier studies from Ohio State, the leader’s role is dualistic in nature. That is, the goal of the leader is for both the success of their department and the care of their followers.

This duality is the source of difficulty for most leaders. They can find a way to make their departments productive, but fail to care for and ensure the happiness of their followers. The opposite is also true: when emphasis is on caring for their followers, this can cause a lag in productivity.

What, then, is the answer to the question of effective leadership? I believe it’s found in transformational leadership that is inspired by the Holy Spirit working through us as believers.

Transformational leaders are people who inspire their followers to look beyond their own interests. They are also people who have a lasting effect on their followers. The epitome of this class of leadership was Christ Jesus. Consider his actions and words that echo through the halls of history, and the actions of his disciples as chronicled in the Book of Acts.

This type of leadership is one that, I believe, only comes from the charisma given to those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. This type of leadership transcends the normal leader/follower relationship and moves toward an affection and devotion only brought forth by the transformational leader.

Tatum (2016) stated that transformational leadership is “a process by which followers within an organization trust, admire and respect their leader, and are in turn motivated to do more than they were initially expected to do.”

Great are the advantages to being this kind of leader. So the question is, “Can this type of leadership be learned, or is it given to some by divine appointment?” I believe the answer is both. I believe there are people who are born with greater leadership abilities than their peers, but I also believe that one can learn to be this type of leader by the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was an excellent leader. Despite his divine nature, he still had to battle the flesh, just as we do.

I think the turning point for Christ was his battle in the wilderness during his 40 days of fasting. It’s a similar process for us. We must get our flesh under subjection and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in our lives. From this type of consecration comes transformational leadership.  Let us all strive to be transformational leaders by the help of the Holy Ghost. This type of leadership fosters a lasting growth that can extend beyond your tenure at your current organization, because it creates followers that flourish into leaders. This type of leadership fosters growth.

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