Sanders states that the leader is an influential person. “Leadership is influence… [It is] the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead” (Sanders, p. 77, 1994). However, this influence is not oppression or pressure; it is a dual process and more a collaboration of two sides – the leader and people. Spiritual leader due to his or her natural abilities and spiritual power shows people the right way and direct them in the necessary direction.
However, the leader can lead only people who are “spirit-filled”. Such people have Biblical traits of character, they follow God’s instructions and do not create their own individual standards. Spiritual leaders help them to have this contact with God.
Meyer’s books are mostly oriented on women and serve to help them to take leadership positions. For many centuries men have occupied leadership positions in all spheres of life, despite the fact that women possess all necessary leadership traits. The clergy, for example, almost in all churches is male-dominated. Joyce Meyer shows on her own example that women can overcome all the difficulties, fight their inner fears and occupy leadership positions.
In one of her book, The Confident Woman, Meyer teaches her readers to find the way to God and be strong when they face difficulties. Her past has shown her that every problem may be solved even if we speak about childhood traumas.
Joyce Meyer preaches to millions of people from the screens of their televisions. Looking at this woman who is self-confident, quiet but at the same time emotional and charismatic we realize that she is the embodiment of leadership qualities.
Joyce Meyer is not the only female representative among modern spiritual leaders. Such women, as Paula White or Juanita Bynum prove on their examples that spiritual leader is not initially a male destination and women can successfully fulfill these roles. Paula White, for example, founded Florida megachurch with her ex-husband a few decades ago. This Without Walls International Church had more than 23,000 worshippers and a lot of followers all over the world. Paula preached then in New York, Florida, in some other states and abroad and now she is returning to the International Church and is going to lead the congregation and entire ministry organization. She has accepted the mandate of the senior pastor and proves on her. It proves one time that leadership qualities may be developed in both male and female representatives. In order to prove it, it is necessary to investigate qualities and characteristics which leaders possess.
There are a lot of different definitions of the word “leader” and “leadership”. Sometimes leadership is associated with the position of authority. However, no authority or power can guarantee that people will follow the person on this position. The real leader is the person who has followers, people follow other people and they do not follow positions. John C. Maxwell in his book “Developing the Leader Within You” refers to a well-known statement speaking about leadership: “A man who thinks he’s a leader, but who has no one following, is merely taking a walk” (Maxwell, p. 113, 1993). Leader’s main mission is to direct people’s efforts in a proper way. If people get their own profit and at the same time work for the advantage of the society, the leader fulfills his function.
If to follow Maxwell’s instructions, it is possible to find out the main principles and rules of leadership. First of all, it is necessary to set priorities. It is impossible to be at one time indifferent places and do different activities. It is better to concentrate on the specific sphere and get the best result in it. The concentration should be made on the sphere that has the highest return.
Another important part of leadership is integrity. It was already mentioned above that real leader possesses great human qualities, one of which is integrity. It means that you act and behave in the same way in the family circle, with your friends and at the workplace.
When people start realizing that they can trust you and that you are responsible for your words and actions, they are ready to follow you and to believe your ideas. Gaining such kind of authority means everyday efforts and consistency in actions. A leader is also a creative person who is able to bring in positive changes and to turn the course of events in the necessary direction. The leader must be ready for changes because changes mean development in any sphere of life. First of all, the leader should be ready to change himself or herself in order to improve his or her personality. Leaders are persons in constant development and they are always one step forward in comparison with other people. This is their main trait that makes them unique. It is an important and very difficult task to motivate other people to change something and such situations become tests for real leaders.