Leaders are critical in organizations and society as they bring out the best of their abilities in their team members and inspire them toward achieving a shared goal. As such, leaders use certain leadership styles in unification to or in addition to their traits to effectively deliver in their roles. How they use leadership frameworks and styles and employ their traits determines their effectiveness. Hence, this paper examines the theoretical framework, style, and leadership traits of effective leaders in reference to Billy Graham, a leader who adopted leadership as a vocation.
Theoretical Framework, Style, and Leadership Traits in Selected Book
The selected book is “The leadership secrets of Billy Graham,” which talks about Billy Graham, an American Evangelist whom people consider a profound leader globally. He reached international dominance due to his large-scale preaching missions and friendship with many U.S. presidents (Martin, 2018). As such, he took advantage of new media technologies, televisions, and radios to spread the gospel message. Hence, Billy Graham was a proactive and adaptive leader to channels that facilitated his goal of spreading the Christian message.
Billy Graham adopted the transformational and servant leadership styles. For example, “the authors note that, though Billy focused his efforts on spiritual change and emphasized the necessity for inward transformation, he also lobbied for institutional reforms” (Myra & Shelley, 2005, p. 141). Such a statement describes his transformational leadership style that sought change. Further, the book notes that “Billy was remarkably fortunate in shaping and developing the capacities of his core team” (Myra & Shelley, 2005, p. 51). According to Myra & Shelley (2005), “Billy is a servant of all, including his team” (Pg.291). Billy Graham used transformational and servant leadership styles to manage his core team, focus on his ministry and create a societal change through his Christian message. Therefore, Billy adopted leadership as a vocation by being committed and focused on his ministry, good communicating in all media channels, and developing others into what he termed as his core team.
In his biography, Billy Graham is among the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century (Bowler, 2018). One of his quality his commitment to his goal. He spread the Christian message tirelessly and tried to reach a wider audience through TV and radio. Such a character would inspire followership as it depicts devotion to achieving one’s goal. Secondly, he had the quality to develop others. As per Myra & Shelley (2005), Pg. 51, Billy was into shaping and developing the capacities of his core team. Lastly, I would emulate integrity quality which, according to Myra & Shelley (2005) notes that “followers will only trust leaders who exhibit the highest levels of integrity (Pg. 60). Billy ensured that he and his team embraced mechanisms that drove significant accountability stakes into their organization that protected them and this “permeated their ministries and affected others with whom they were associated.” According to Myra & Shelley (2005), Billy “insisted he was no scholar or intellectual” (Pg. 273). As a leader, I avoid this shortcoming by getting knowledgeable and making myself a leader who can solve issues intellectually. Hence, I would emulate high levels of integrity as exhibited by Billy Graham to inspire followership and ensure that my team accountant and standing on the grounds of truth.
A leader needs to be someone with not only great traits but also great education and intellectual abilities. According to Amanchukwu, Stanley & Ololube (2015), a great leader would be certain of success if he applies leadership styles, principles, and methods properly and fully. As such, a leader must have experience, knowledge, commitment, patience, and the skills to negotiate and work with others to achieve a goal. Further, “good leadership is developed through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training and accumulating the relevant experience” (Bass & Bass, 2008). With such qualities, a leader is bound to become effective and enhance great innovation, creativity, and transformation in his leadership. Besides, having the requisite traits and skills would help a leader achieve self-awareness and inspire followership. Hence, leaders should develop the right traits and skills and adopt the right leadership styles to become effective in the execution of their roles.
Billy Graham was a devoted leader and sought to develop his team’s capabilities. His leadership was anchored on the empowerment of others, and did set an example as a leader who admitted his mistakes. Such a leader is transformational and seeks to bring change to his work. Hence, Billy adopted transformational leadership to spread the gospel, ensuring that all people understood the word of God and that the world became a place where he focused on spiritual change.
Amanchukwu, R. N., Stanley, G. J., & Ololube, N. P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles, and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management, 5(1), 6-14.
Bass, B., & Bass, R. (2008). The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research and Managerial Application. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Bowler, K. (2018). Blessed: A history of the American prosperity gospel. Oxford University Press. Available at: https://bit.ly/3Xrq487
Martin, W. C. (2018). A prophet with honor: The Billy Graham Story (Updated edition). Zondervan.
Myra, H. L., & Shelley, M. (2005). The leadership secrets of Billy Graham. Harper Collins. Available at: https://www.pdfdrive.com/the-leadership-secrets-of-billy-graham-d34391591.html