Adolph Lorenz Dial is one of the most respected and well known Lumbee scholar who struggled for rights of the People of Lumbee tribe. Adolph Lorenz Dial was one of the ‘Great depression children who in his lifetime struggled against all odds to become one of the top educators in the country. Adolph Lorenz Dial had served the education industry holding different positions including that of teacher, professor, and educator.
Vision, persistence, and passion of Adolph Lorenz Dial
Adolph Lorenz Dial believed that it is only education that can make people more aware about the other cultures and communities that coexist in the society. This will help in reducing intolerance and discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion and social status. He was a strong believer in interdependence as the basis of sound humanity practices in a society (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990). He recognised that quality education is the key to improving the well being of the American Indian communities. His vision was to ensure penetration of quality education to eliminate the evils of intolerance and discrimination in the society (Stilling, 2006).
Adolph Lorenz Dial’s strong will power and perseverance was reflected in his lifelong struggle for the betterment of the Lumbee tribe. He had played the role of a crusade for the rights of the Lumbees. To succeed in his vision he played the several roles throughout his lifetime. In his role as an educator, he included the American Indians as a discipline of study to improve people’s knowledge about them. He penned down the history of the Lumbee tribe for the first time (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990). Being a business man, he worked for betterment of his community and developed the area of Pembroke. He was looked up as a role model for the young members and furure leaders of Lumbee tribe. As a member of the North Carolina, House of Representatives, he fought for the rights of the American Indians. As a leader of the Lumnbee tribe, his focus was to gain recognition and status for the Lumnbee tribe and get recognition for the Lumbees at local, regional and national level. Being a political activist, he struggled for passage of Lumbee Enhancement Bill in the US congress. In his role as a state legislator, Dial developed a plan that would permanently allow representation of the American Indians in the election for state representative (General Assembly Of North Carolina, Session 1997, 1997).
Traits and personality of Adolph Lorenz Dial
Traits theory of leadership states that it is the personality of an individual that makes him a leader (Mondy, 2008). Based on this theory, the personality of Adolph Lorenz Dial can be identified with the basis of the following traits.
Charisma: Charismatic traits include the attitude of individuals to pay attention to the other persons’ concerns, being an empathic listener, excellent communicator and the ability to connect and interact with people easily. People who are charismatic use this characteristic trait to attract people and make them see ands believe in his vision. Dial had the ability to influence an entire community of Lumbee tribe and motivated them to strive for their rights. The younger generation of the Lumbee tribe looked up to Dial as a role model.
Integrity: Integrity refers to the value of being honest and having strong moral principles to guide the actions and behaviours of an individual. Dial has always been respected in the society for his honesty, and hard work. He has been recognised with Brown-Hudson Folklore Award in 1986 for his contribution towards the community of the Lumbee tribe (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990).
Visionary: Being a visionary is an important leadership trait that helps leaders to create a vision or dream a better future and articulate the dream by developing in to achievable goals, ensuring relevant action, and motivating others to participate to meet the vision. Dial was a visionary. He had strong faith in his beliefs and could develop the vision of ensuring quality education for all to eliminate discrimination and inequality in the society. He could foresee a better future the people of Lumbee tribe through realizing his vision (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990).
Tenacity: Perseverance, strong will power and resiliency are important leadership traits that makes a leader endure challenges and remain focused to meet the vision. In spite of being from backward Lumbee tribe, Dial had the perseverance to overcome all hindrances and emerge as one of the top educators that US has ever had. Dial had confidence in his beliefs and never gave up on his motive.
Leadership style of Adolph Lorenz Dial
The different components of leadership style of Dial are explained below.
Dial was a charismatic leader. He strived to make people understand the problems facing the people of Lumbee community and continue his struggle for rights of the Limbees in a peaceful manner. It was because of because of his charismatic leadership style that he succeeded in developing a transformational viewpoint allowing him in articulation of vision, being sensitive to the needs of the people and the needs of the environment, risk taking capability and having an unconventional approach (Mondy, 2008). Here, his unconventional approach was to use education as the driving force to fight for rights of people. His self confidence and belief in his vision were the key driving points behind the success of his charismatic leadership style.
Dial was an emotionally stable individual. This can be identified from the fact that he never engaged in any violent reaction towards the attitude of the people of other communities who tried to discriminate him for being a Lumbee and oppress his success. Though the path of promoting education as the founding stone for fighting for rights of the people of Lumbee tribe is a long term vision as it would not be possible to see immediate results by using this approach, he could successfully dedicate his entire life towards the vision and remain emotionally stable (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990).
Dial was a transformational leader whose focus was on bringing about a change.the present generation of people of Lumbee tribe looks at Dial as the cornerstone in bringing about the transformation for the Lumbees by gaining social and political rights for the community and ensuring they are better represented at the local, regional and national level (Library of Congress Catalogue, 1990). Dial reflected his true transformational leadership style by successfully influencing events to change the course of history for the Lumbee tribe.
He was outspoken. He became a nationally known personality through his political works. He was an important member of the committee that worked on reviewing the federal policies. The committee was a national body known as American Indian Policy Review Commission. It was his outspoken nature and integrity of character that he could successfully fulfill his role and ensure that the people of Lumbee tribe and the American Indians as a whole get their due. He was assertive as a leader. He could successfully capitalise on the opportunity the wave of interest, both from the government and the society, and set up American Indian Studies Department at Pembroke State College. This was done to increase the knowledge and awareness of the people of all communities about the American Indians. Through this increased awareness, Dial believed, that they inequality and discrimination towards the American Indians will reduce and finally eliminate. His works also reflect his situational leadership style who can adapt his leadership style based on the given situation.
The paper discussed the leadership style of Adolph Lorenz Dial. Dial’s strong vision and his perseverance to strive and achieve his vision is discusses in the paper. His vision was to empower people through education to eliminate the evils of racial and ethnical discrimination and inequality in the society and restore the rights of the people of Lumbee tribe. Charisma, integrity, visionary and tenacity are identified as the key leadership traits of Dial. In evaluating his leadership style, it was recognised that Dial had a charismatic leadership style. Transformational leadership style and situational leadership style was reflected in his works. He was emotionally stable and outspoken.
General Assembly Of North Carolina, Session 1997. (1997). Retrieved from http://www.ncleg.net/sessions/1997/bills/house/pdf/h1232v1.pdf
Mondy, R. (2008). Human resource management, 10th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Stilling, G. E. S. (2006). "Lumbee Indians." Encyclopedia of North Carolina. Ed. William S. Powell. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P,. Pages 699-703.
Library of Congress Catalogue. (1990). The Lumbee Methodists: getting to know them. Retrieved from http://nccumc.org/history/files/lumbee-book-ocr.pdf