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Religion can be used for personal gains or religion can be used for transformation. Much depends upon the leader who initiates the change. It depends upon his objectives in…
This paper will discuss the changes that several world religious leaders have attempted and have an insight into their leadership styles.
Marx defines religion as an opiate for the masses, undermining any motivation to change society for the better. (Silberman, Higgins & Dweck). Leadership has traditionally been associated with power. Leader enjoys political or organizational authority. While there are many types of leadership, two are distinct and interrelated. Transactional leadership grants the same liberty and opportunity to others as to oneself like speaking the truth, keeping promises and imposing sanctions. It is more about punishments. Transformational leadership on the other hand has a more realistic and reasonable concept of the self. This self is connected to friends, family and community whose welfare is more important than one’s own. Transactional leadership manages outcomes and aims for behavioral compliance while transformational leadership, through values, justice, honesty, truth and human rights, enables one to embrace a change of heart (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998).
Transactional leadership would call it moral values if promises are kept, negotiations are fair and truth is told but it does not take into account the ideals the follower may happen to have. There are inherent difference across religious groups and consequently across leaders. Siblerman, Higgins and Dweck further quote that “any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion”. While Mahatma Gandhi and Aga Khan were transformational leaders, Pope and Dalai Lama impose sanctions and punishments and views social equality as a spiritualism struggle to realize God’s kingdom on earth.
Nazarali-Stranieri (2005) says the greatest leader of twentieth ...
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