Analysis Of Jim Jones

Topics: Leadership, Jim Jones, Charisma Pages: 5 (1468 words) Published: March 22, 2015


Analysis of Jim Jones and the People’s Church
Teamwork and Leadership
Michelle Steele
January 31, 2012
Professor Margaret Beaumaster

Analysis of Jim Jones and the People’s Church
1)Jim Jones digressed through various leadership styles as his time with People’s Church went forward. He elicited qualities of charismatic leadership and idealized influence in the beginning, followed by transactional leadership, and then autocratic leadership. Charismatic – Jones was an incredible speaker. This was how he began People’ Church and acquire a following. In the movie, people said that they had never heard a man speak like this before. His services included song, which would light up everyone in the church, and give them all this exuberant feeling. People felt alive during his speeches. It was said he was an inspiring speaker, who spoke of inclusion of people and anti-government, which appealed to the hearts of everyone in the congregation. People heard his word and wanted to give everything to their Church, their community. Idealized Influence – It was said in the movie that Jones felt discriminated against, and so he could relate to members of the black community. This aroused his followers to feel a powerful identification and strong emotion towards Jones. Everyone was welcome, regardless of their colour. Jones was breaking new ground in race integration. Both of these styles allowed him to find a following. People who were interested in hearing him speak; people who liked what he stood for. At the beginning, yes I do agree that I might have even been caught up by the power with which he spoke. The message of integration and people being equal was good in theory, but where he took it later was a tragedy in my opinion. This leads us to his digression of leadership styles. Transactional Leadership – When Jones finally had a following and realized that Indiana was far too racist for his community to thrive, he led his people to the “promised land” of Redwood Valley in Ukiah. He told people to sell all things so that they may all have the same things in common. People sold their homes and gave over their paycheques and money to the church. The church, in turn, gave them a home, a community, a place to live and work, and Jones controlled all of this. He had people leave their lives behind and told them how to live their lives with him. He slowly began degrading people who didn’t live up to his expectation, and told them he was doing it for their own good. I believe he carried a bit of this leadership style when they finally moved to Guyana, but primarily, as his insanity increased and his paranoia got the best of him, he digressed into Autocratic leadership. Autocratic – When Jones up and moved his congregation to Guyana, he completely isolated his people from the rest of the world. He finally became an Autocratic Leader completely. It was here in this isolated place that he had complete control over everyone. 24 hours a day, people heard his cryptic messages playing over the speakers. His word was law. People weren’t allowed to question him because it would be considered blasphemy. People couldn’t talk about leaving or it would be reported, even by their own family members. And it was because of this complete control he had over people that caused them to mass suicide. He belittled them into believe that the outside world would torture them, and that their only way out was to go to sleep with everyone else, and let him be their saviour. 2)In the beginning, Jones had fresh ideas. He preached inclusion of the races, and was a pioneer of integration. He ran his church much like that of a black gospel church, full of song and excitement, so that by the time Jones got up in front of everyone for his sermon, they were already feeling so good about themselves. And the way he spoke to them, with such power and charisma, he was much like Hitler. He spoke to people who were low on their...
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