Leadership, by definition, is the ability to direct or inspire people to attain certain goals. There are different styles of leadership. There are autocratic leaders, that gives very little power to their followers, the democratic leaders who try to include the followers or employees to the decision-making process, and free-rein ones that trust their employees to decide without always consulting them. Even though, the employees of this leadership style are not directly supervised, they have to prove themselves through accomplishments. There is also charismatic leaders. Their particularities is their eloquence. By their, often passionate, communication, they can gather the crowd and make them stand up against or for a cause.
The article chosen was written by Natalie Jaceswicz in March 22, 2017. It was published by National Public Radio, which is an American news report. She introduced one of these charismatic leaders, Jerome Jarre, one of the Love Army founders. The “Love Army” is an association that organizes humanitarian actions such as funding to help the ones who needs the most. They are mainly focusing on the great famine in Somalia since March, 2017 and on the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas (muslims coming from Birmania) by Bangladesh since November, 2017. This essay will firstly discusses the different leadership qualities of Jerome Jarre highlighted in the article and then analyze how he rallies people and what type of leaders he is.
That article in question highlights many leadership qualities that Jerome Jarre possesses, although they are not always presented in an obvious way. Firstly, the article speaks about how he created a grassroot campaign by utilizing the power of his social media. At the time the video he posted on twitter attracted more than 80 thousand of people. By 25th of September 2018, it reached the 544 thousand views. He rallied his followers by encouraging them to post on their social media #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia as it was the only commercial airline company that could land there, and therefore be the only way of transporting necessities in Somalia. More or less two hours after posting this call for help video, Ben Stiller joined the movement, as well as multiple other celebrities such as quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Jerome Jarre, with the power that he detained thanks to his charism, rallied people to the same cause. He encouraged people in his video, maintaining that they could do something about it, “It is a scandal that media barely talk about it, or when they do talk about it, they make us feel like we cannot do anything about it. […] That is not reality. We can mobilize. We can look for solutions. We can try, even more with the help of social media.” His demonstration of hope and enthusiasm, and how he shows a quality that leaders have. Secondly, as shown in this article, he did not seem scared about innovating in terms of creating a charity foundation. It might have been the first time that someone that never worked in an NGOs or in the government made the first step to change a cause.
The way he managed to get the attention of Turkish Airlines shows how innovative this movement was. He was brave enough to create an organization in a sector in which you need knowledge. It is rare to succeed to change a crisis that happens in a country where you barely know the story or, the culture. It is rare to succeed when you never had an experience in managing this kind of project (even though he did participate in The Solar Light Mission in which likes were currency and plastic bottles were used to light up a village in the Philippines). Thirdly, it demonstrates that he was humble and honest enough to accept and publicly say when they had to change plans after learning on the ground that some of things he thought possible were actually impossible. He listened to the advice of the most experienced: “We are learning from multiple NGOs that […] is not the best thing to do”. Fourthly, he is illustrated as a leader by example. By the way he communicated an important cause to his community, he leads the way for how other social media influencers could use their notoriety to engage people for a cause. How we can raise awareness when we obtain information that people might not have access to. He inspired people and brought enthusiasm to them to help others; like it is quoted in the article: “First cause I donated to. I feel happy.”
Finally, he was not only a leader by example. If he would have just spoken about what was happening there it would have been admirable enough. Yet he decided to be proactive in the cause, to fully engage. If he would have spoken about the case and participated in the resolution, it would have been admirable, but he did not stop as he went further in his acts; he created tools so people who would like to participate, but due to maybe a lack of their knowledge on how to do that type of thing, would have done nothing. But thanks to his creation, the fund, according to the “LOVE ARMY FOR SOMALIA” gofundme, reached $2 702 760, which exceeded the former goal of two million dollars.
That part will analyze what sort of leader Jerome Jarre is by analyzing the first point made above, which is the way he rallies people to a same cause with his charism and enthusiasm. Before being known for his charitable actions, Jerome Jarre has famous for being a charismatic leader. In his vines video where he would prank strangers, the people filmed would often end smiling and laughing. The other viners used numerous of his ideas. That is because he has a charismatic personality. He knew how to charm people. Even when he pranked celebrities, such as Ben Stiller or Diana Agron, they would play his game and not get mad to him.
When he posted the video speaking about the Somalian crisis, he had empathy, saying multiple times how he found it unfair the situation Somalians were living in. He reached the viewers with his empathy, calling for our humanity. With the help of the celebrities who already knew him by being pranked by him before (Ben Stiller for example), his video has become viral to the people who did not know him. He also, with his demands to the viewers to tweet #TurkishAirlinesHelpSomalia, showed a leadership quality which is creating a movement by involving everyone, therefore they could achieve their common goals. Therefore, with his involvement in this Somalia crisis, as well as in other ones (Bangladesh, the Philippines…), he can be considered as a servant leader.
According to Investopedia, servant leadership is “a leadership philosophy in which an individual interacts with others – either in a management or fellow employee capacity – with the aim of achieving authority rather than power. The authority figure intends to promote the well-being of those around him or her.” In other terms, a servant leader does not use power but authority over his followers. Servant leaders lead the way and as their followers shares the same philosophy, therefore it is not in the leaders’ best interest to use power over them to force them to do things. Followers are not forced to join the movement if they do not agree about how it is organized. This is how Jerome Jarre leads the Somalia Love Army; he built the road for people seeing things from the same angle as him and let them join him without having to find the ‘how to make it possible?’. He seems to be driven by the need of helping people.
In January 2015, he gave an interview in the New York Times. When asked if he had found his purpose in life he answered, “My purpose,” he said, “which I finally found thanks to social media, is helping all of these people find their purpose.” Another example of his drive to change the lives of others is how the organization Love Army For Somalia created in 2017 is still evolving and finding new ideas to help the Somalians. One of them was to propose to donors to give directly $25 per month to a family, that would have access to it thanks to their phones as paying with a phone is a common thing in most African countries. Therefore, the donors know where their money go, as well as can interact with the members of the family. The last updated in gofundme was ten months ago and informed that every one of the village had now access to food and water, as well as basic equipment such as cooking tools and clothes. Some of them started businesses thanks to the donations, as well as bought new goats. Rain has also fallen in the village and the Love Army managed Bill Gates to give $1000 by family to eight other villages. Jerome Jarre is a servant leader that managed without knowing a lot about humanitarian aids to save hundreds of people. He empowered people.
To summarize, the article illustrated, by explaining the beginning of his work in a Somalian village, that Jerome Jarre was, by his charism, enthusiasm, initiatives, and courage, a leader. He is a leader by example as he shows, not only to other social media influencers but to the rest of us, that if we have the will, we got the power to make a change. He not only shared his passionate thought about the Somalian famine, he also acted.
He is a servant leader. Driven by the passionate thought of changes and serving the others. He demonstrates empathy, listening and commitment. In a world that massively changed by the creation of internet and the popularization of social media, his example demonstrates that the concept of leadership can also evolve. The use of social media platforms can be a tool to gather people to fight for a cause. To open their minds and acknowledge the suffering. The new generation can, by following his example, make a change in the world. Leading for a good cause, rather than for their own personal interests. They have easy access to information, more opportunities, more tools available to them to develop their ideas. Jerome Jarre is the example of a new type of leader; someone who creates, communicates and gathers people by using internet platforms, involves everyone who wants to be so, and fight for people that no one talks about.
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