Have to respond to Jamal and Scott discussion with at least 2 paragraphs each.
Dr. Thomas Welder (You tube). University of Mary
President Emerita Sister Thomas Welder talked about Leadership and its values, as it relates to today’s society. It is said that over the course of the last century there were about 30,000 books were written on what people thought leadership meant. Sister Welder believed it means having the skills to influence people toward a goal and to get to a common good. Furthermore, in order to be a great leader, you must have a good character. She said that our character is reflective of what we do in the dark when no one is watching. That reminded me of what I was always taught by my parents about what discipline really is. My parents taught me that discipline is taking the right actions without being told what to do. That goes hand in hand with character. Having good character means doing the right thing even when no one is around to see it. Sister Welder believes that leadership can be taught, and good leaderships eventually lead others and help other gain confidence.
Dr. Sister Thomas Welder’s address was very informative. The speech is centered on leadership but specifically character and what it takes to be a servant leader. Servant Leadership is personal development according to Sister Welder, you cannot change others and who they are but you can model a respectful environment of expectations. Servant Leadership is about community and getting things done through people who are influenced and empowered. It was Robert Greenleaf who said, “Where there is not community, trust, respect, ethical behavior are difficult for the young to learn and for the old to maintain “and “great leaders are seen as a servant first. ” (Smith, 2005). She remarked that servant leader ship is about having enough foresight to see the vision and having credibility so that people will want to collaborate with you as a leader.
She talked about a squandering of trust, and how when we look to God, we should understand that God always have a Plan B, but that we must look to him and wait for our souls to catch up. That is how we learn to listen, and how we build relationships. She went on to quote Mark Twain as saying “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should use it in proportion“ (Thomas Welder, 2016). That was the clearest that I have ever heard listening described because it’s true and it makes sense. She stated that leader ship is a process and she also quoted several other people for example, Nelson Mandela and his ability to lead even while he was in prison. Mandela’s credibility was one of the foundation of leadership. In her leadership speech she explained the servant leadership triangle and the base being credibility, and this quote really caught attention, “when all is said and done there’s a lot more said than done” Mark Twain. It is true as well, that we don’t see things as they are we see things as we are. And that is because we have our own internal bias that prevents us from seeing things exactly as they are. She talked about listening and the purpose of giving people our time.
So, how do we know we are servant leaders? Coetzer and colleagues said it best, they found in their study that, “On an individual level, servant leadership positively influenced work engagement, organizational citizenship behavior, creativity and innovation, organizational commitment, trust, self-efficacy, job satisfaction, person-job fit or person-organizational fit, leader-member exchange, and work-life balance”. (Coetzer, Bussin, & Geldenhu, 2020, p. 19). If we achieve those things, I believe we are well on our way to being a Servant Leader.
Near the beginning of her presentation, Sister Thomas (2019) told a story of interactions between foreign missionaries and their indigenous guides in which the guides corrected the frenetic missionaries by saying “We must stop here and let our souls catch up with our bodies.” Interestingly, Sister Thomas extrapolated from this story the idea that we ought to find balance and moderation so as to humanize work and allow us to keep our focus on the greater vision. This ideal seems necessary for servant leadership: if a leader is too caught up in the accomplishment of tasks to recognize the humanity of their employees, they will never be servant leaders.
I was also struck by two ideas Sister Thomas (2019) tied together: (1) we cannot change others, although we can change ourselves, and (2) it is your collaborators who ultimately make you a leader. In recognizing that it is up to us to sacrifice for and treat others with generosity and patience when we are placed in positions of leadership, we are able to become the sort of person fit to lead. Without taking the initiative to become the sort of person our followers will choose to follow as individuals, we will fail to become true servant leaders. As Inam et al. (2019) assert, “servant leadership is built on the goal to communicate with each employee individually so to realize each person’s talent,” and that in such an environment, “followers get value from their leader through increased well-being” (p. 201). Thus, while we cannot change others as leaders, we can labor for their benefit and provide them with the opportunity to thrive.
Finally, Sister Thomas (2019) offers a quotation, “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” When we commit ourselves to ideals and vision, and when we commit ourselves to seeing the world through a growth mindset and seeing the potential in others, we see the world anew. Only with such ideals and vision can we become the best leaders we can be, as it is only then that we begin to live for something greater than ourselves.
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