History is sated with some of our forefathers’ dreams and aspirations. Many of whom are now considered great leaders. Several of these dreams were realized either while these great leaders were alive or after they died. It should be borne in mind that these aspirations were materialized because of firm beliefs and philosophies which were indoctrinated into the minds and crafted on the brains of their followers. “I have a dream” as laid down in the profound speech of Martin Luther King Jr. in August 1963; Ghandi’s belief of a changed Indian society; Nelson Mandela’s firm belief in freedom, to name a few, were realized decades after. However, undoubtedly these beliefs ‘dictated actions’, Bennett (2009). Though not a great philosopher or freedom fighter, it is without question that there are certain beliefs and philosophies that have informed my actions and belief system. Without these “anchors” it would be within reason to purport that leaders would be easily misguided and swayed by the “tide”. Beliefs and philosophies are therefore an integral part of any leadership.
Beliefs and philosophy conceptualized
One’s belief can be described as a conviction that influences one’s action. Further, it bolsters ones vision for fruition. Bennett (2009) offers that belief is “embedded in the mind and heart”. Moreover, “they are the root of purpose and action”.
A leadership philosophy is the way leaders view themselves as leaders. This philosophy guides actions, behaviours, and thoughts. Leadership philosophies like beliefs can change as leaders grow to understand themselves within the context of leading. Most importantly, creating or
finding one’s leadership philosophy means that one must explore and reflect upon personal values, assumptions, and beliefs about leadership.
Personal Beliefs and philosophies in leadership effectiveness
Among the tenets of effective leadership is, “having a dream and vision that will leave this world a better place” (Kheler, 2013). This dream or vision, in my opinion, can only be attainable should such a leader resolutely believe he can accomplish such aspirations. Further, Kehler (2013) declares that an effective leader “knows his strengths, strives for excellence, is persistent, is willing to stand alone, is ready for resistance, sets an example for staff, is ethical and is willing to let God be his or her guide”.
Conversely, an effective leader must possess some amount of requisite skills. They must possess knowledge and appreciation of their organization of which they are responsible; create and maintain trusting and accommodating relationships with all of their employees. “Their traits, skills, behaviours, and various situational factors interacting together, along with a common vision and supportive learning community may ultimately determine a leader’s effectiveness” Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2004. They believe that in order to be an effective leader, “all of these traits, skills, behaviours and situational...