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The Leadership Style of Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa is perhaps one of the most widely known missionaries and nuns in the world. When she was younger, she felt her purpose was to help others. After she became a nun, she went to India where she began teaching. During that time, her eyes were opened to a greater need. the amount of poverty surrounding her was shocking and touched her heart. She decided to start a charity and help others. Among those she helped were the sick, hungry and poor. These were the people who needed help the most yet were sometimes the last to receive necessary assistance. Based on her history, the contingency theory best fits her leadership style. There is not a one size fits all way of doing things. External and internal factors would be taken into consideration which were used to base what help was needed and provided. Each person she encountered did not have the same issue or circumstance. Being able to assess a person and what exactly they need is something that is not always easy to do nor does every person have this valuable skill.

Every leader, whether it is in a paid position or a volunteer position, falls under one of two categories of behavior. These are democratic or autocratic behaviors. Mother Teresa demonstrates democratic behavior. A leader with democratic behavior encourages others to participate for one common vision or goal. A democratic leader is known to delegate responsibilities out. They also earn respect from those who are working with them for the goal. Democratic behavior is one that involves flexibility. It is not rigid or restrictive. That is one thing that makes this leadership behavior the best for Mother Teresa. In general, her work calls for flexibility in most aspects.

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Three leadership skills Mother Teresa exhibited were emotional connections, listening, and inspiring with purpose and trust. She would make connections with people to better understand their situation and to make them feel as if someone saw them and cared about them. Listening is an important part of her skills. If she could not listen to people, then she would not be able to find out what they needed. A huge part of making connections is listening. People felt heard. For people to open up to her, there had to be trust. If there is no trust, then people are going to be closed off. For Mother Teresa to carry out everything she did, all three of these skills worked hand in hand together. If one was missing, she wouldn’t have been as successful as she was. She inspired many, whether she was helping them or if it was getting others to join in her mission.

Three leadership traits she had were passion, optimism, and honesty. Optimism helps to encourage others. It passes on a positive attitude as well as hope. Most people in society need a little hope. Not only was Mother Teresa trying to help the situation, but she was trying to encourage and give people a boost in themselves. It is wonderful to have external needs met, but she tried to meet some internal ones as well. The internal needs will last after the external needs have gone away. Passion is important with most things people do in life. When a person has passion for what they are doing, it shows. It shines to others and it helps get people on board with what you’re doing. Passion is also a sign that what you’re doing is important to you and it’s not just something you’re doing just to do it. Honesty is important for many reasons with the work Mother Teresa did. First, she had to be honest with the people she was helping. This would build their trust in her. Secondly, if she wasn’t honest then that would also hinder funding, she received to carry out her mission to help others. Lastly, to inspire others to join her causes, she had to be honest. Without money and others to help, Mother Teresa wouldn’t have reached as many people as she did.

Three leadership behaviors Mother Teresa possessed were supportive, participative, and achievement oriented.

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