An Inquiry Into the Applicability of Self-Leadership to Missionary Leadership:
A Case Study
Elsie V. Reyes
An overview of the literature signified that studies had been conducted on self-leadership in relation with performance in the fields of business management, sports, clinical psychology, employee performance, and education. No known study has been done exploring a possible relationship between the practice of self-leadership and missionary leadership effectiveness or performance. This study sought to contribute towards filling this gap in the literature. The inquiry involved a qualitative case study of a missionary couple in Kampong Thom, Cambodia, who has effectively achieved their goals within the 7 years of Christian work. Through qualitative interviews, observation, and use of documents, data was gathered for analysis. Data analysis was aided through the use of the qualitative software QSR NVivo7. In sum, practice of thought self-leadership (TSL) and the four cognitive processes (i.e., management of self-talk, mental imagery, beliefs, and assumptions and thought processes) positively affects performance and within the context of this study missionary leadership performance. Results of this study affirmed findings of studies connecting self-leadership and performance. By applying TSL strategies the participants (a) lead themselves better, (b) work more effectively with others resulting in more productive thinking and improved performance, and (c) experienced enhanced performance which eventually resulted in an enhanced ministry organization’s performance. These findings line up with the results of studies by Manz and Neck (1991) and Neck and Manz (1992) which indicated that effective application of TSL strategies does not only enhance a leader’s performance but it can also enhance the performance of employees, thus, enhancing organizational performance. The study is significant in that it adds to the body of literature on self-leadership, and the inquiry resulted in other emergent themes that may be contributory to effective Christian leadership (i.e., calling, Christian character and integrity, element of the supernatural such as miracles in leadership among many others). Exploring the study of these variables is recommended for future studies.
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