So TURKEY did not happen on my last paper that I posted. Yet, my professor gave me a B commenting that I had good insights although I missed the prompt. Yikes.
However, I am ready for a two-peat (A on my last paper). “Can you dig it?”
Bennis’s leadership knowledge appeals to the world, but not to those who are spiritual. Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, John Wooden, and Martin Luther King Jr. (to name a few), became historical leaders by understanding their weaknesses and depending on a personal and relational God to help them through their trials. Bennis makes claims favoring independence and inventing one’s self as the special ingredients to leadership. Focusing on Martin Luther King Jr., he is not an exception to Bennis’s teachings, but an everyday example of profound leaders.
Bennis writes, “To become a leader, then, you must become the maker of your own life” (51). However, Martin Luther King Jr. never invented himself, but was seen “as a divinely inspired leader, not [wanting] unquestioning support that is often associated with charismatic leaders” (Carson, 449). Leaders do not have to mark their own journey because true leaders are followers as well. King’s humility and love for others does not stem from self teachings. “Leaders have nothing but themselves to work with” (51). Again, Bennis sees leaders as isolated figures that possess very rare qualities; he makes it seem like leaders are not relational and hard to work with. He mentions that leaders possess “[their] own values, not someone else’s” (Bennis, 48). Their values often get them into trouble. Hitler and Stalin were leaders that valued self- righteousness and power; they, too, told themselves that “when you write your own life, then no matter what happens, you have played the game that was natural for you to play” (Bennis, 51). Hitler and Stalin played games that were natural for them. Essentially, they played games that did not involve love and a willingness to serve humanity. Instead, they went on destroying it. Bennis’s “leaders” often do not invent themselves the way king analyzed himself. “King was a leader full of self-doubts, keenly aware of his own limitations and human weaknesses” (Carson, 449). Those who discover themselves seek dependence on God. “If God had meant man to fly, He would have given him wings” (69). Literally, Bennis is wrong to mention airplanes. Without any attachments, humans cannot fly. Humans were not designed to invent themselves; we were designed to have a relationship with God. I, too, have visions to become a leader; however, I know that once I start writing my own life, chaos and confusion will occur. Paradoxically, I will then have to manage my problems instead of serving God and becoming a leader.
Bennis, Warren G. On Becoming a Leader. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub., 2003. Print.
Carson, Clayborne. “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Charismatic Leadership in a Mass Struggle.” The Journal of American History Vol. 74.No. 2 (1987): 448-54. JSTOR. Web.