In the one hundred years of formal leadership study there has been a myriad of definitions developed with one emphasis or another. Despite the fact there is a low degree of agreement on what exactly leadership is, one thing everyone can agree on: leadership is synonymous with change. Leadership is the relationship of leader and followers where the actions of the one influences change in the group, and vice versa. (Northouse, 2012, p. 3) Leaders have power in which they wield to effect change in a group whether it is from outside the group or from the center of the group they influence. (Northouse, 2012, p. 5)
Even in the different definitions of leadership, whether positive theories or negative, there is a focus on change. The difference in leadership perspectives does not seem to be about whether or not leadership is focused on change, but more about how change is accomplished. Coercive power, which would be considered by most to be a negative use of leadership, effects change by using force. (Northouse, 2012, p. 11) Whereas transformational leadership theory effects change through the concern for individuals, their emotions, ethics, motives, and needs. (Northouse, 2012, p. 185) Jesus is an example of a leader who is considered a change agent using transformational leadership. (McCabe, 2008, p. 33)
As a leader, it is vital to know the principles, values, and goals that are important. Leadership grounded in principles and values operate out of clear vision and direction. (Covey, 1992, p. 20) Leaders who are anchored do not find themselves being tossed by the waves of change or follow the fads of culture or the demands of followers. Leaders need to have principles on which they stand in order to insure the change they are creating for their followers is clear and beneficial.
Covey, S. R. (1992). Principle-centered leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster.
McCabe, L. (2008). Jesus As Agent of Change: Tranformational and Authentic Leadership in John 21. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, Volume 2(No. 1), 32–43.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.