Social Issue in Leadership Paper – Christianity Business Leadership
Social Issue in Leadership Paper – Christianity Business Leadership
True contemporary leadership in an uncertain, anxious, and intricate world requires essential qualities to succeed because of a combination of social, economic, environmental, and technological challenges. More so, as I grew up, I realized that faith makes it even more challenging to achieve the objectives of good leadership, especially in the business world. Despite this, as rightly pointed out by George (2010) and Brown (2018), ethical leadership moves past populism while simultaneously identifying the legitimacy posed by public fears. Conventional wisdom has it that a good leader has to have the right vision to serve and lead others towards achieving set personal and organizational goals. Accordingly, from experience as a realtor, I have realized that the vision of a Christian leader in the real estate sphere emanates from God. However, this is not to insinuate that a Christian leader is obligated to serve only those clientele from his or her faith; this could not be further from reality. It is impossible to separate professionalism from the faith since both can go hand-in-hand. I have personally found this style of living and undertaking business convenient for bringing wholeness to who I am and what I accomplish as a purpose. Therefore, with mental illness at the workplace being a prominent public issue in Canada, it is vital to assess the manner in which it affects leadership, with a particular focus on the real estate sector.
Significance of Analyzing Mental Illness within the Canadian Workplace
For individuals experiencing mental illness, a good work-life balance is essential. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (2019), the link between stress and mental illness remains critical, but undoubtedly, stress can aggravate mental illness among particular individuals. Statistics Canada (as cited by Canadian Mental Health Association, 2019) has demonstrated that employees who believed most of their workdays to be a little or tremendously stressful were over three times more likely to experience a major depressive incident, compared with those who had lower degrees of general stress. Nevertheless, a meticulous analysis of the statistics reveals that there are many more unreported cases of mental illnesses associated with the workplace in Canada, which is quite alarming. I have always believed that stress and mental illness can be the result of workplace conditions. Once, while working as an Exclusive Volunteer Team member at the Discovery Center, I had to take a colleague to the emergency room after she collapsed and became unconscious. Throughout the journey, I kept praying because of my Christian conviction that prayers heal (Jeremiah 17:14; The New King James Version). Later, the doctor informed us that she had a condition known as burn out, which is caused by overworking and stress, but it could have been worse if she had a mental illness. Thus, mental illnesses is an issue that cannot be underestimated by organizational leaders.
For any leader, the wellbeing of employees is paramount. The great Winston Churchill once stated that “the longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward” (Valk et al., 2011, p. 59). Thus, leadership is about examining situations that occur in everyday experiences and applying solutions to remedy, mitigate, or prevent challenges. Put simply; leadership appertains ideas and actions. Consequently, mental illness in the Canadian workplace is an issue that ought to be addressed through authentic leadership. Leadership involves executing novel concepts into creative actions to attain the desired solutions. For example, in this case, leaders have to be inspired to create innovative ways of reducing stress and burnout at the workplace since they have been found to reduce instances of mental illness (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2019). Every leader has an inspiration to motivate others or attain a set objective. As outlined by Sire (2009), some leaders might derive their inspiration from renowned leaders, experience, or mentorship. From my Christian upbringing, I am heavily inspired that all stems from the Almighty as aptly put by Sire (2009, p. 23), “nothing is prior to God or equal to Him.” However, this is not to say that I lead purely based on faith; rather, my faith guides me in making appropriate leadership decision. My personal mission, which can be applied to solve the mental illness issue at the workplace, has been to implement faith in the Lord, serve with empathy, lead with integrity, and inspire clients in attaining their real estate ambitions.
The scripture is a guide for effective leadership regardless of the sphere or sector of business. The reason that compels me to offer leadership solutions to the issue of mental illnesses at the workplace is the reality that it is underreported, yet serious. Frequently, I have visited homes put up for sale and realized a considerable percentage of them were because of people who had developed mental illnesses at work and required to be sheltered in mental institutions. That is when it hit me that the phenomenon could be happening all over the world. Most certainly, it is in the public domain that many individuals undergo foreclosures in the United States and Europe on a daily basis. However, there is little concern by the relevant authorities regarding the number of mentally ill people who lose their property as a result of burnout and stress at the workplace. Additionally, most institutions do not have guidelines for handling cases of mental illnesses. To bear fruit, we have to work with faith and compassion among us. The Bible compels us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves … defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV). I believe the entire world can collaborate to address this concern through prudent and thoughtful leadership. In the Necessity of World Views, Willard (2003) rightly states that comprehending the world view is critical to understanding the meaning of truth. In this case, the truth is that mental illness has to be dealt with by all.
Leadership has the most viable opportunity and resources to solve the causes and address cases of mental illness at the workplace. Solutions to the globe’s most severe problems do not lie in better technology, increased economic initiatives, and more political action, argue (Valk et al., 2011). Instead, they argue that appropriate solutions lie in guidance from the globe’s most revered spiritual leaders. The process involves tapping into the past wisdom, comprehending its relevance for the prevailing situation, and permitting it to guide them into the future. First, leaders have to recognize the reality that mental illness has reached virtually a crisis point globally based on its adverse effects in the past. the best way is to lead through example (Levin, 2018). I have come to realize that through openly expressing my anxieties, I can help calm others around me. Most people learn through observation, and if they can identify with their leaders, then they can overcome issues associated with mental illness. Blending elements such as being proactive, paying critical attention to communication, encouraging honest and open conversations, and training individuals how to notice and respond with a faith-driven inspiration, it is possible to address the issue.
Consequently, an authentic leadership approach would be the best for this situation. An authentic approach involves the leader building his or her legitimacy through fostering an open and honest relationship with employees by valuing their perspectives based on an ethical foundation (Ladkin & Spiller, 2013). By involving other leaders and employees in the real estate domain, it is possible to come up with a solution that works best for everyone. Of course, this requires sufficient convincing because some institutions, for example, in Canada, have not taken the issue seriously (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2019). Working with compassion, patience, understanding, and inclusion, I will help to transform the world gradually. 1 Timothy (4:12, ESV) advises leaders to set an example in followers through conduct, speech, purity, faith, and love. The style combines the best elements to solve the matter. Besides, an authentic leader interacts more with his or her followers, which makes it easy to discern if there is a problem. For example, real estate requires frequent one-on-one interactions to close a sale.
Therefore, my leadership call to action to address the issue is: “Do not let the burden of work hurt others, we have the power to stop it!”
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole Hearts. New York: Random House.
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2019). Mental illness in the workplace. Retrieved from https://cmha.ca/resources/mental-illness-in-the-workplace
George, B. (2010). True north: Discover your authentic leadership. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Ladkin, D., & Spiller, C. (2013). Authentic leadership: Clashes, convergences, and coalescences. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Levin, M. (2018). 5 Things leaders can do now to help end the mental health crisis. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/5-ways-leaders-can-immediately-help-mental-health-crisis.html
Sire, J. W. (2009). The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog. Chicago, IL: ReadHowYouWant.com.
Valk, J., Belding, S., Crumpton, A., Harter, N., & Reams, J. (2011). Worldviews and leadership: Thinking and acting the bigger pictures. Journal of Leadership Studies, 5(2), 54-61.
Willard, D. (2003). Dallas Willard – The nature and necessity of worldviews – The Veritas Forum. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6hwsG7AUZ0&=&feature=youtu.be&=&t=1m58s