My Journey into Leadership

I find my own style of leadership difficult to characterize in terms of what is presented in the literature. This is because when different leadership styles are characterized, I either find myself so far away from the type of leader described, such as the charismatic “celebrity” or “Weberian authority” described by Graham (1991), or only partially fulfilling the criteria used to describe leadership styles such as “transactional” and “transformational” as defined by Stephenson (2008) or servant leadership as defined by Greenleaf (1995). Though I have admired many leaders throughout my life, the two leaders who have inspired me the most and whom I would wish to emulate are Mahatmas Gandhi and Jesus Christ.I suppose, then, that I would conclude that my style of leadership most resembles the “servant-leader” model, though I say this with the understanding that I know I have far to go until I could fully characterize myself as a servant leader.

On my journey to being a servant leader, there are a number of attributes that I would consider my strengths and a number of attributes that I feel I still need to work on. The word integrity, which appears in the writings of Engstrom (1993) as well as on most of the leadership attribute lists of the “gurus” summarized by Boyett and Boyett (1998), is one of the attributes I consider to be a personal strength. I say this because I strive not only to be honest but also to represent myself as honestly as possible (I see the two differently, the former related to telling the truth and the latter to revealing aspects of my character and life that allow people to know who I truly am). I have also committed myself to a system of ethics (Engstrom, 1993), as defined by Christ in the gospels, that guides me in the decisions that I make.Another of my strengths is a commitment to gaining wisdom through life-long education (Boyett & Boyett, 1998). This is evidenced not only in the fac..

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