The Ultimate Test of Leadership
Don Stepherson V. Calda, Ma.Ed.
Leadership and Management of Change
Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management
Department of Graduate Studies
Divine Word College of Calapan
Infantado St. Calapan City
(043) 288-8686 local 108 / (043) 441-0553
“Leadership means making a difference, creating a positive change; providing the impetus that creates an atmosphere of change that improves the world, or at least the small part of the world around us; leadership is characterized by sustained action over time. Leadership is the stretch of changing things that can be changed, of providing new thinking, new energy, to the current situation”. These are the words uttered by Dr. Marjorie Bowman (2010), a famous medical doctor and professor in Pennsylvania when asked about her definition of leadership. These words are also my main theme is exploring the idea of leaders being change makers. Leaders acting as change makers creating positive change in the society are best exemplified by their subtle actions that lead to positive changes or differences in the community where he or she belongs. But let us first discover the value of leadership. It is said that few things are more important to human activity than leadership. Effective leadership helps a nation through times of peril and confusion. In a larger sense, it makes a business organization successful. It enables foundation and different agencies to fulfill its mission. Parent’s effective leadership enables children to grow strong and healthy and at the same time productive and responsible members of the society (Mills, 2005). The absence of leadership then is equally dramatic in its effects. Without leadership, organizations move too slowly, stagnate and lose their ways. Companies will move without any sense of direction. Much of the literature available about organizations stresses decision-making and implies that decision-making is timely, complete, and correct, then things will go well. Yet, a decision by itself changes nothing. After a decision is made, an organization faces the problem of implementation – how to get things done in a timely and effective way. Problem of implementation are really issues about how leaders influence the behavior of the people and workers around him. Leaders’ task should change the course of events and overcome resistance so that the organization will move forward with a sense of direction. Leadership, in this sense, is crucial in implementing decisions successfully.
Each of us, members of the society recognizes the importance of leadership when we vote for our government and political leaders. We realize that it matters who is in office so there will be equal participation in government affairs. With this, we participate in elections to choose the best candidate that would definitely impart change in the society. In business, investors recognize the importance of business leadership when they say that a good leader can make a success of a weak business plan, but that a poor leader can ruin even the best plan (Mills, 2005). Generally, we define leadership as a process by which one person influences that thoughts, attitudes and behaviors of others. Leaders set a direction for the rest of the members; they help the members to see what lies ahead; they help the members to visualize what the organization or the community might achieve; leaders encourage and inspire the members. But the definition does not stop there. After setting direction and encouraging people to move and support the aim of the group, then leaders will definitely create positive changes and will make the group progressive. If these happen, then leaders are then underwent the true test of leadership.
Without leadership, a group of human beings quickly degenerates into argument and conflict, because they see things in...