MOTHER TERESA “Mother Teresa marked the history of our century with courage. She served all human beings by promoting their dignity and respect, and made those who had been defeated by life feel the tenderness of God. ” – Pope John Paul II. Mother Teresa is one among the great religious and humanitarian leaders of the world. She was a woman who saved lives and changed them through the sheer force of her faith and determination. Mother Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born on the 27th of August, 1910 in Yugoslavia. In her teens, Agnes became a member of a youth group in her local parish called Sodality.
Through her involvement with their activities guided by a Jesuit priest, Agnes became interested in missionaries. She took the name ‘Teresa’ when she joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns in 1928. She devoted her life to the poor. The mother was moved by utter poverty, suffering and misery of a large number of people in India; she decided to dedicate her whole life for the welfare of the poor and took Indian citizenship in 1948. She founded a school for homeless children in Calcutta and set up her own order, which became the Missionaries of Charity.
Vision, extraordinary compassion, complete dedication are few characteristics Mother Teresa embodied as founder and former leader of the Missionaries of Charity. She expanded this order to other countries in 1965, creating a global network of over 517 missions around the world. Through this association, she dedicated her life helping the poor, the sick, and the dying around the world, particularly those in India. Her selfless work with the needy has brought her much acclaim and many awards. Mother Teresa has done tremendous work for which she became very famous through out the world.
She took advantage of this rare combination of goodness and media savvy for promoting her associations. She started giving speeches worldwide and enlightening people about the plight of the poor and the diseased people suffering from ailments like leprosy, AIDS from different cultures, traditions, countries and religions. She never hesitated to kiss the hands of India’s lepers or pick maggots from the wounds of people found lying in the streets. She helped change attitudes about AIDS by hugging patients dying of the disease.
This example not only describes her tolerance but also her acceptance. Mother Teresa embodied the potential goodness of humankind, a vision of kindness, generosity and blind love for global siblings. She believed in active listening which is an important trait of leadership. She said “Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen”. According to the authors Kouzes and Posner’s true leadership is best understood within the framework of four attributes honesty, vision, competency and inspiration. Mother Teresa will be an excellent example for this statement.
Sincerity and honesty in her work, great passion towards her vision along with lot of hard work made her an effective leader. With her charisma she inspired several other peers working in the organisation and they were highly influenced and started implementing her principles and values. This ability of influencing others makes Mother Teresa a resonant leader. In the initial thoughts of leadership there is a point “you must work hard” I think success of mother Teresa lays in her hard work. In order to live with the poor and do service to the diseased is definitely not an easy task.
She came across many hurdles in her life. Initially people thought she was doing all the work to promote Christianity, but later they realised her purpose and helped her in accomplishing mission. Even though Mother Teresa faced many obstacles in life, she was committed to her mission of helping the poor and diseased. Leaders must be willing to “rise above” even at the time limitations and restrictions of the current problem, Mother Teresa did the same and she was able to build organisations through out the world. Mother Teresa is a compelling example of an authentic leader.
Authenticity means “being yourself” through out the journey she expressed her unique style of leadership. Not only did she have a purpose, clear values, and a heart ? lled with compassion, she also created intimate relationships with people and exercised self-discipline, all the dimensions of an authentic leader. Her life is indeed an inspiration. Mother Teresa’s communication style is the main asset for her success. Mother was an efficient speaker who inspired many people through her speeches. She conveyed her message effectively.
To communicate beyond speech is to communicate through sign which is non verbal communication. Mother Teresa served as symbolic sign as face of compassion. Mother Teresa gave importance to non verbal communication as well. In a speech she said “speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well. ” “No matter who say what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work. ” is the principle of mother Teresa.
She even puts her preaching’s into action. She believes in humanity, benevolence, reconciliation and peace but above all, love and understanding. There was a definite link between her values, principles and results. With her principles and vision she was able to convey her message to various parts of the world. She was able to raise many funds and many people were inspired by her principles. Some of the famous quotes of Mother Teresa which inspired many people are: •There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work.
This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come that’s why we have to do it as beautifully as possible. •There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone’s house. That says enough. •It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters. •Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. •Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa has faced many challenges during her journey to help the poor and diseased.
Initially she left her family to serve the poor. She gave up all her comforts and her marriage life. She came down to serve the poorest of poor and started living with them in the slums. This shows dedication towards reaching her goal. Seeing the difference in society and the way these people are treated and not helped, inspired her work and helped form her belief and values. There was one incident where mother Teresa asked a baker to donate bread for the orphan children. The baker was very rude, not only did he turn her down, he spit at her.
In response to his disgraceful actions, Mother Teresa calmly reached deep into her pocket, took out her handkerchief, wiped the spit off and said “That was for me, now what about some bread for my poor children. ” The baker was touched by Mother Teresa’s love and greatness, complied and thereafter provided bread for the children in the orphanage. This example says her unselfishness, courage, spontaneity, patience, determination, her vision to help the poor. Mother Teresa won millions of hearts with her charisma. She proved that the power of love can change millions of people’s lives and inspire the world.
She was very successful in carrying her message. I think determination towards achieving her goal and her hard work are the success factors of mother Teresa’s achievements. By the end of her life she had created an organization of four thousand missionaries operating in a hundred countries. Her organization, Missionaries of Charity, began in Calcutta and spread to 450 centres around the world. Around 600 clinics, orphanages, soup kitchens, maternity homes, refugee centres, homes for the poor, sick, and dying in more than 100 countries were established.
They operate in 25 of the USA’s 193 Catholic Diocese. They’re staffed by 4,500 nuns, 500 brothers and thousands of volunteers, all of whom take their model from Teresa. Its mission was “to reach out to the destitute on the streets, offering wholehearted service to the poorest of the poor. ” Finally mother Teresa has accomplished her mission through compassion, tolerance, dedication, honesty etc. Mother Teresa was someone who was not afraid to do the right thing or motivate others to do so. She went out into the world and dedicated her life to a worthy cause.
Not many people would willingly give up the comforts of modern society and undergo a frugal lifestyle in order to help others. Yet this marvellous woman did so and succeeded. Through her actions and dedications, she motivated many people to contribute to helping the poor of the world, when otherwise those same people would never have helped the poor in any way. Thus, Mother Teresa embodies what it means to be a leader. She helped when no one would and in so doing inspired others to do the same thing.
Leaders are not made, they are born, and Mother Teresa showed the world that she was definitely one of those rare individuals who can be called a leader. ” In the words of former Indian President, V. V. Giri, “she was among those emancipated souls who have transcended all barriers of race, religion, creed and nation”. The Muslim President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain, believed her to be a ‘saint’. The famous British journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge had a deep respect for her. He said, “Words cannot convey how beholden I am to her. She was known as ‘Ma’ or ‘Mother’ in Kolkata.
Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and her position as the world’s greatest champion of the downtrodden was firmly established. The U. S. awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 1985 and a Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Her most unique distinction was her receipt of an honorary U. S. citizenship on November 16, 1996 – only the fifth person in U. S. history to be given the honour. She is stated to have said that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world’s needy. I believe mother Teresa was an outstanding leader. Humanitarian is an important trait which makes mother Teresa extraordinary.
Mother Teresa’s humble beginnings in Kolkata, her selflessness, her actions, her self-imposed poverty, her lifestyle amidst the slums of the world made her amazing human being and an authentic leader who was herself throughout her journey of helping the poor in the society. After researching about mother Teresa my respect towards her raised. Initially I just knew mother Teresa had served the poor and gave courage to the diseased. Now I feel mother Teresa is the most fascinating person in the world who has done tremendous work to the society without expecting anything in return.
She gave inspiration to people by her hard work. The research about Mother Teresa has changed my views about leadership. Initially I thought leadership means dictatorship. I used to think leader must be someone like Adolf Hitler. But with this analysis I came to a conclusion that we can even influence people through love, compassion, vision, inspiration and can make things done. As a leader I try to be more patient, to be calmer, having clarity of my goal and dedication to accomplish the mission in spite of any obstacles, to do lot of hard work and active listening.
I try to become an authentic leader displaying my style of leadership rather than adopting someone’s idea of leadership. References: Books Gallos ,V 2008 ,’Business Leadership’ 2nd edition. Websites A Beacon of Hope In a Sea of Despair viewed on 13th July 2009 http://www. studentleader. com/orig5. htm Angel Heroes viewed on 13th July 2009 http://www. myhero. com/myhero/hero. asp? hero=M_Teresa Biography of Mother teresa,Viewed on 11th July 2009 http://www. worldofbiography. com/0026-Mother%20Teresa/achieve. asp Images of Leadership from Future Leaders viewed on 14th July 2009 http://knowledge. harton. upenn. edu/article. cfm? articleid=1417 ‘Mother Teresa – Greatest Mother’ viewed on 14th July 2009 http://www. dayformothers. com/famous-mothers/mother-teresa. html ‘Mother Teresa Quotes’ viewed on 14th July 2009 http://home. att. net/~hillcrestbaptist/mt. html Mother Teresa’s style of leadership, viewed on 13th July 2009 http://itchybon1. tripod. com/hrd/id28. html ‘Reflections of Mother Teresa’ viewed on 14th July 2009 http://www. ewtn. com/motherteresa/words. htm The Kosova Humanitarian and Charitable Society “Mother Teresa” viewed on 14th July 2009 http://www. motherteresasociety. org/