Thursday, October 11, 2007

Developing Authentic Leadership from the Image of God

I attended the "Bridging Sunday and Monday" Conference at Seattle Pacific University last week where I presented a paper on the implications of the theological concept of the Incarnation on the development of a possible model for Christian Leadership. One of our Ph.D. students, Rick Franklin presented an excellent paper on the Imago Dei as the source for authentic Leadership. Rick's paper opens many possibilities for exploring the dynamics of spiritual formation as it relates to leader development. The abstract for his paper reads as follows:

"Authentic leadership theory defines effective leadership in terms of self-awareness and self-regulation. In particular, the greater the extent to which a leader is aware of oneself (i.e., identity, values, emotions, etc.) and regulates leadership behaviors accordingly, the more authentic and effective the leader is in leading and empowering followers.

In this regard, self-concept plays a critical role within authentic leadership, in that, it is often the focus of self-awareness. In this paper, I suggest that a secure, authentic self-concept is effectively developed by anchoring it to a self-transcendent source. Specifically, I propose that the image of God (as a self-transcendent source) provides a secure foundation for self-concept. As such, the image of God in humankind provides the fundamental definition of self-concept and thus, can be incorporated into the process of developing authentic leaders.

This topic integrates leadership theory, spirituality, and biblical theology, which is unique in authentic leadership theory studies. It also has practical value regarding developing leaders with a focus on the internal dynamic of self-concept."