Models of Leadership
There are a handful of ways to approach the actions of leading. Leadership involves a wide variety of characteristics and skills that vary based on different circumstances and motives for leading. Throughout our time here in South Africa, we have learned about these different stylistic approaches to leadership—all of which can be used in different aspects of our lives. The authentic leadership model and social change model both provide valuable resources for encouraging others and promoting goodwill or change. Ms. Feila, Nelson Mandela, Amy Biehl, and Kevin Chaplain each exemplify the characteristics of a leader, and have fostered the leadership models.
The first model of leadership involves a strong sense of self in the leader. The leader must demonstrate self-awareness through self-reflection and a positive self-concept and realistic understanding, in order to reach the potential of a true authentic leader. Ms. Feila of Sun City embodies the authentic leadership model in her ability to move others and inspire her community through her giving attitude of spirit. Ms. Feila seems to have a deep understanding of herself—in the sense of where she’s been, where she currently is, and where she is going. Her leadership characteristics have developed over time with the growth of her self-knowledge and the development of her strong values and morals. According to Northouse, “…the development of authentic leadership relies heavily on the life story of the leader and the meaning the leader attaches to his or her life experiences” (Northouse, pg. 206). Ms. Feila uses her life story to guide her actions. My first day visiting Sun City and Ms. Feila’s home, she opened up about her past and her journey to the person she is today. The hardships she faced molded her into the strong women she is today. She uses these hardships to create goals for a better future. This characteristic is vital in an authentic leader. In Discovering Your Authentic Leadership,
Cited: Chaplain, Kevin. Class Lecture. 16 May 2012. George, Bill. Sims, Peter. McLean, Andrew. Mayer, Diana. Discovering Your Authentic Leadership. Harvard Business Review. February 2007. Northouse, Peter. Leadership Theory and Practice, Fifth Edition. 2010. Stengel, Richard. Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership. Time Magazine. 9 July 2008. UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. A Social Change Model of Leadership Development, Version III.