Doctoral Project Abstract
A Biblical Approach to Developing the Inner Qualities of a Leader
Jacqueline A. Faulhaber
Over the past century the study of leadership has resulted in an innumerable number of definitions. JoAnne Ciulla asserts, however, that while leadership researchers ask the wrong questions when trying to define leadership they at the same time inadvertently try to answer the right question. She goes on to say that in trying to answer how leaders should treat followers and vice versa, as well as what the nature ought to be of that relationship, the researcher is actually trying to answer, "What is good leadership?"1
Quite similar to Ciulla's question of the moral quality of leadership is this books question, investigation, and analysis of the source of all "goodness" that makes a particular leadership quality, character, skill, vision, goal, etc. actually "good". This book focuses on God's manifestation of his moral being and character in the Christian leader that has the potential to impact positively relationships between leader and follower.
Given this focus, this book proposes a leadership vision of a leader whereby the leader does "not" focus directly on influencing the follower, but instead sees his or her influence arising or manifesting as a result of focusing his or her mind, spirit, and body toward God's will, Christ's example, and living and walking by the Holy Spirit. In Christian leadership, influence, and even the powerful referent form of power, arises from the degree that Christ indwells the leader's heart and forms or molds the leader's character, desires, values, thoughts, words, deeds, behavior, action, goals, and vision. The leadership process conveyed in this book commits to the idea that every person is a leader because he or she has the potential to influence regardless of his or her position on a community or organization. Furthermore, the idea that everyone is a leader is a mindset needed for the 21st Century global, decentralized, flat, and cross-cultural organization.
The direction of leadership provided by this book requires ongoing Christian leadership development that focuses on the process of developing his or her internal character and spirit in God's moral image. This process, however, is not facilitated without a lot of hard work, commitment, and dedication to following the spiritual and virtuous development process identified by the Apostle Peter, which includes growing: in Christ's grace, knowledge, moral excellence, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love supplied by faith2 with the desire to be obedient to God's command for holiness.3 Nor is this process without powerful outcomes. The spirit-filled and Christ-centered leader can inspire a follower to seek out the same source of the leader's virtuous character. In Christ-centered leadership it is hoped that a positive virtuous culture of a family, society, community, or organization is developed.
The chapters of this book are based on a social-cultural analysis of the writings of Moses, and the Apostles Peter and Paul. It is hoped that the Christian leader will identify eternal principles that facilitates the leader's own character, spiritual, or virtuous development; namely this book focuses on:
- The imperatives for character or godly virtues in leadership;
- How these imperatives are addressed through virtuousness;
- Describing why virtue is not in our culture's common language as it once was;
- The example of Jesus as the Christian's model for virtuous leadership, as drawn from Corné Bekker's Christological Model of Leadership developed from a social-cultural analysis of Philippians 2:5-11;
- The process of developing virtue as presented by Peter in the New Testament book of 2 Peter;
- God's tools for developing virtue as taught by Peter in 1 Peter;
- Some barriers and challenges in developing godly virtue; and,
- Exploring transformational leadership in a global context through a study of Paul's leadership in the Corinthian church.
Who is this book for? This book is first and foremost intended for those who seek to understand the impact their character might have on not only the "effectiveness", but also on the "goodness" of his or her leadership within his or her family, community, society, and organization.
1. Joanne Ciulla, The Ethics of Leadership, (United States: Thomas-Wadsworth, 2003), xiii.
2. NASB Study Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing, 1999), 2 Peter 1:2-7.
3. NASB Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:16