The issue of power and leadership has always attracted my attention since 27 years in ministry; in fact, I have been in many leadership positions and seen firsthand how power unfolds through manipulation, the privilege, the rich, in the secular and religious environment.
One of the most attractive concepts in the field of social sciences is the concept of “power” and “leadership.” When I started my doctoral studies at Fuller, the focus was on leadership and I remember spending time talking about those issues. I think it is a very complicated issue, full of many negative and positive ramifications.
Leadership is a challenge at any time, but in times of globalization, the turbulence of the changes generated by the new economy multiplied the questions and options of today’s organizations.
The leader performs in the concept of organizations, that is where he or she is formed, among the group of people who voluntarily decide to coordinate over time, to try to achieve some objectives.
Always ask the question, what does it mean to be a leader? What is the nature of leadership? What does it mean to have the ability to influence other people’s behavior and a persuasive way?
Max Weber differed power precisely as the “ability to influence the behavior of other people” Effective leadership, then, is, above all, power. Power dimensions are very curious, such as submitting a person to the tip of a gun’s barrel. In the same way, arises the power of the pastor or religious leader who submits to the parishioners to the tip of the word of God. Or that of a politician through his position or the rich with his money.
Chris Duker, the editor of Redcliffe, says that “Typical leaders are ‘defended’ in the sense that they try to preserve their power and influence, especially by controlling what they allow others to see of themselves. Their defensiveness is entrenched through the idealization of followers, their own idealistic vision; and their unmet emotional needs. For Walker, deeper, ‘truer’ leadership must be ‘undefended’ by not grasping for power or seeking colleagues’ approval. Instead, freedom to lead comes from “our attachment to another” (p.103), who offers “unconditional regard” (p.105).
“Walker contends that, rather than situations or even behavior, leadership is fundamentally “about who you are, not what you know or what skills you have” (p.5).
I am more worried about how to lead myself. What does it mean to be the leader of yourself? In addition to giving yourself the push and initiative necessary to carry out your goals and projects, being the leader of yourself also means developing the keys needed to face the situations that life poses.
He goes on to say, “This is a minority view, as more commentators nowadays consider important the interplay between a leader, their context and their behavior (contingency models). At this point Walker displays something of a universalizing tendency: virtually all leaders are ‘defended’ and employ strategies to protect themselves (selective presentation, power, control); all are ‘defended’ because of their ego. It does not seem problematic for Walker that each of the four ego typologies he identifies results in the same condition of defensiveness.
What are the fears of the leader?
We know that psychologist and professor of Organization and Human Resources at universities mentions that the number one fear for the leader is the fear of losing your position and it makes a very interesting classification of the different ways in which that fear manifests itself, namely:
1- Fear of showing feelings that make them appear weaker and to be perceived as soft or characterless managers.
2- Fear of losing authority or having your leadership questioned.
3- Fear that subordinates make fun of their weaknesses, or that these weaknesses become apparent.
4- Fear of transmitting information and losing the advantage of knowledge.
How to I can be an Irreprehensible / untouchable leader?
An irreprehensible person is one who lives in such a way that it is not necessary to be corrected or admonished because he does things that are considered disapproved by those around him. The irreprehensible is the one who goes forward marking the example of how to live in a straight and honest way regardless of the social pressure that this represents, is someone who everywhere maintains proper behavior, is that man husband of a single woman, faithful and that by choosing to please God and putting his name up he has managed to be a determining influence in the formation and faith of his children.
How can I be a Humble leader?
The arrogant is one who has a constant desire to be preferred over others. He wants to be distinguished, recognized, and always praised above others, he is the one who tries to be a leader only to exercise authority and control over others, imposes his will, but nobody follows him by conviction. The humble is the one who knows that all that he or she is and what he or she has is because God in his grace granted it for which he or she gives in gratitude to the task of forming and teaching the hearts of others to make the necessary adjustments in his or her life to live according to the will of God.
Walker, Simon P. The Undefended Leader Trilogy. Self-published, 2011.
Weber, M. “The theory of Economic and Social Organization”, Free Press, New York, 1947.