I have always wondered how Christianity plays a role in leadership. How can a religion of salvation guide leadership? To find answers, I reached out to a dear friend of mine, Theresa Marquez.
My heartfelt gratitude to my very good friend, Theresa Marquez, for sharing her views on leadership through Christianity.
Please see the article introduction and Theresa's bio on the home page. You may connect with her via https://www.linkedin.com/in/theresamarquez6/
Does spirituality impact or affect leadership?
To answer the question, let’s start with definitions:
Spirituality, while broad is generally defined as a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves.
Leadership is defined as the process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, toward the achievement of a goal.
When you combine being connected to something bigger than yourself and the process of social influence to maximize the efforts of others to achieve a goal. In my humble opinion leadership is impacted by spirituality.
Every one of us can lead at some point in life in one way or another, whether in your home, your church, or your profession. There will inevitably come a time when you will lead. Now that doesn’t mean you will do it well or that you will like doing it. But it will happen.
When the opportunity for leadership knocks at your door, ask yourself will you be a leader that will do the right thing for the right reasons? Or will you lead for self-gratifying purposes? I believe the answer to that question is where the spiritual aspect comes in.
I am a Christian who believes that Jesus provides the BEST examples of leadership. There are countless examples of the many ways he led the disciples for a purpose that was even bigger than Jesus. One example is at the garden when the soldiers came to take Jesus away. Peter became angry at the betrayal of Jesus, attacked, and cut off Malchus’ ear. Jesus’ response was not to continue fighting for his life, but to yield, calm everyone down by “healing” the soldier and giving himself up to begin the journey of ultimate sacrifice that would be his life.
It is my intent to provide an opinion that there is a connection between spirituality and leadership. To be an effective leader your leadership is dependent on a connection to something bigger than yourself.
Leaders possess many attributes such as:
Let me provide another example that is relevant to many of us: You are the leader of the basketball team whose goal is to win the championship. As the leader of your team, your team mates need to know that you will be honest with them about their performance or lack thereof; that as the leader you are empathetic and can relate to their needs; that you lead with consistency; transparency as a leader shows your ability to be vulnerable and builds trust; being supportive is incredibly important, knowing you can count on your leader no matter what is essential to building a team that will follow you; and finally having the right knowledge to lead. When you know the game like no other you will inspire your team mates to perform to the best of their ability to achieve the goal of winning a championship.
You may ask the question how is this connected to spirituality and leadership? When you take the definitions provided at the beginning of the commentary: spiritually being a connection to something greater than yourself (winning a championship) and the definition of leadership: the process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a goal (leading your team to win that championship) the connection is clear.
The team leader is connected to the team, the coaches, the opposing teams, and even the fans and by using social influence to maximize the efforts of the “team” to achieve the specific goal of winning a championship. This method can be applied to any aspect of life.
In closing, I have on several occasions found myself in positions of leadership in my professional life and as a part of professional organizations and my Christian values were the foundation that I stood on to guide the decisions, the direction, and the efforts to achieve the goals established for my team to accomplish.