Jesus is the original transformational leader who accomplished the task of transforming his disciples into leaders. The following essay will demonstrate how Jesus provides a foundational example for aspiring leaders to model by looking to Jesus’ Transformational Leadership (TL) style presented in the text of Mark 1:16-20. There are four components in the TL construct including individual consideration, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation (Bass, 1985), which may be found in Mark 1:16-20.Mark 1:16-20 showcases Jesus’ calling of his first four disciples (Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John).
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When Jesus calls the fishermen to be disciples, he provides a higher goal than the one they are currently pursuing: fishing for men. By doing so, Jesus speaks the trade language of the disciples, so they could understand the goal he provided and challenge them to live beyond their means. The disciples immediately followed which may reveal how the way Jesus spoke was compelling and appealing to the opportunists which the disciples were.
This analysis adheres to one of Bass and Avolio’s (1994) four components of TL: individual consideration, the skill to pay attention to the individual needs and backgrounds of the followers while compassionately challenging them. The second of the four elements of TL, intellectual stimulation (Bass & Avolio, 1994), is found through the pattern and parts of the discourse exhibited in the text. We find Jesus’ capability to stimulate curiosity and creativity in his followers by challenging the normal beliefs and views of the group of fishermen (Mark 1:16) who had failed a series of tests and teachings to become rabbis (Burkus, 2015).
This concept conforms to Kouzes and Posner’s (1996) “Challenge the Process” principle, the argument that leaders seek ways ‘to innovate and that innovation often comes from unexpected sources’ (Burkus, 2015, p. 6). Examining the multiple kinds of inner reasoning in the text (Robbins, 1996), the way Jesus called his disciples to follow him, and how they immediately followed resembles the way a rabbi would have called his new disciple (Bell, 2005). In reflection, David Burkus (2015) writes, “Jesus is demonstrating the presence of idealized influence, the third element of transformational leadership.” (p. 7). By Jesus’ charisma and influence (Bass & Avolio, 1994), Jesus exemplifies the ideal, showing himself to be a respectable rabbi, and encouraging his disciples to reach their potential by following him. The fourth element of TL, inspirational leadership (Bass & Avolio, 1994), is seen in Jesus’ act of seeing and articulating what he saw in his disciples. It was Jesus’ emotional-based thoughts, and his candor, paired with his purposeful action of calling which the disciples were responding to (Burkus, 2015).
The process reflects inspirational leadership because Jesus is able to spread a vision that was inspiring to followers (Bass & Avolio, 1994), like being a rabbi, which showed Jesus to be focused on providing for his followers individual vision ‘of how they how they fit into the mission’ and not specifically an overarching vision for himself (Burkus, 2015, p. 9). By this way, after Jesus’ death, the vision provided to his disciples empowered them to be leaders in the knowledge of how each one of them would impact the world (Burkus, 2015). The four components Jesus implemented in Mark 1:16-20 culminate to form TL, which he is the prime example of.
We see that Jesus saw things that others did not see and had compassion for what he saw. Jesus said things that others did not say, although he said with familiarly. He made himself more valuable, serving as an example of the characteristics he desired from devotees. He valued his followers, valued what his followers valued, and believed what others did not believe about his followers. Jesus had feelings that others people did not feel, and he expressed himself vigorously. He did things that others did not do, committing himself to train and to develop leaders.
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