Leadership is surrounded by many factors that affect the performance of people who are holding leadership positions. Strengths are the positive traits that a leader displays in character and the way he/she deals with the actions. On the other hand, the dark sides involve the negative characteristics that are displayed by a leader. The strengths and dark sides of a leader relate because they are part of one person.
The strengths include honesty, ability to communicate and inspire people, commitment, and humility and so on. These qualities are nurtured in a person via self-discipline and religious guidance. For example, Christian leaders follow the example of Jesus since Jesus is the greatest leader who ever lived. Christ demonstrated that being a leader means a being a servant to the people that one is mandated to lead. Some of the strengths that Christ demonstrated include selflessness, humility, love and patience. The ability to visualize and plan is another strength that a leader can possess. A leader should be able to analyze all situations critically and consider all alternatives before choosing the best alternative (Tarant 34).
On the other hand, the dark sides of a person are not nurtured since they exist their naturally. The dark sides bear no direct relation to the strengths in most cases. However, since perspectives differ what a leader considers his strength can be viewed with others as his/her dark side. The dark side of a person is always present with this individual. That is why a leader needs to check his heart every time to ensure that he still within the boundaries of exceptional leadership qualities. Human beings tend to be distracted easily with unusually small things. Naturally, it is easy to let the dark side reign compared to the courage and hard work required to practice principled leadership (McNeal 36).
The development of these two sides can be simultaneous in some cases. Leadership positions can be stressful and force the development of a person’s dark side. Many leaders start their leadership roles as decent people who are strong advocates of love and kindness. These leaders later change to evil people who mistreat the people they are leading with no remorse. This is a terrific example of a factor that influences the development of the dark side in a leader.
The position of leadership can also influence the development of strengths in a leader. Leadership can motivate an individual to strive achieve a high level of integrity. This instills self-discipline, which fosters the development of positive character in a person. Therefore, leadership is a common factor that is needed for strengths and dark sides to exist. However, it is necessary to note that strengths and dark sides exist because we are humans. All humans have two sides the good side and the bad side. Leadership only acts as a catalyst and not the direct cause.
A leader can exalt his heart easily. Therefore, a leader should strive to check his heart always. Pride leads one to believe that he has the ability to achieve a difficult task without help. Pride exists in a normal human being in moderate levels. This can be heightened when one is raised to a position of leadership. Christian leadership is against pride since God guides the church. The leaders in the church are just representatives and cannot claim to have the power to accomplish anything. The dangers of pride are heightened by the presence of vices like selfishness and self- deception.
Pride can blind a leader and make them believe that they are the only with the right methods. Selfishness breeds pride, which in turn gives birth to self-deception. Some of the leaders who have committed serious vices in the society were self absorbed individuals full of pride. A brilliant example is Hitler who believed that the Jews had to be exterminated. He believed that Germans were the only superior races and should not be tarnished. The pride and selfishness of Hitler led to the death of approximately one million Jews. Many leaders have been responsible for the death of many people just because they were blinded by pride and selfishness. Wrong motives, pride and selfishness heightened the dark vices in a person. This is regardless of whether one is a leader or not. Their negative effects are heightened in people who hold positions of leadership. This is because they can easily deceive themselves that they are above the rest of humanity. A leader full pride cannot be taught and cannot heed advice. On the hand, a humble leader can learn and improve the conditions of the people he is leading (Lewis 46).
These vices combined with emotional trauma can cause a leader to cause irreparable damage in the society. Emotional trauma interferes with the ability of a person to think critically. These means this individual cannot even stop to examine his actions, which he means he lives believing in himself. The missing blocks only serve to heighten the problem. Emotional trauma, missing blocks. Selfishness and pride can make a leader that is a danger to society.
Lewis, Rick. Mentoring Matters: Building Strong Christian Leaders, Avoiding Burnout, Reaching the Finishing Line. Grand Rapids, Mich: Monarch Books, 2009. Print.
McNeal, Reggie. A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.
Tarant, Nick. Dark Side Leadership: The Antilaws of Politics, Persausion & Power. New York: iUniverse, 2008. Print.