Mother Teresa’s Leadership Qualities A Roman Catholic nun of Macedonian descent, Agnesa Gonxha Bajaxhiu later known as Mother Teresa, has been fondly named, ‘Angel of Mercy’, ‘Saint of the Gutter’ and ‘Blessed Teresa’ by her supporters worldwide as a show of gratitude to her innumerable contributions. Born on August 26, 1910, Mother Teresa left her birth town of Skopje at age 18 to become a nun. She gained her recognition and acceptance as being one of the most famous people of the world when she founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950. From then on, she received several prestigious awards namely the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Bharat Ratna in 1980 and a string of others over five decades of social volunteering and public leadership for the improvement of the human condition (Wikipedia, 2006).
These accolades do not go without hard work and dedication. To become an effective and authentic leader, Blessed Teresa had to face a great deal of criticism while at the same time gaining support from those who needed her most. Pope John Paul II summarized her achievements and good leadership qualities by describing how she was able to help people selflessly. She has said that her prayers and endless hours of meditation and contemplation to the Holy Trinity were her strengths (Wikipedia, 2006). Of course drawing strength from the force of prayer may not be possible for all leaders and managers but it does set an example for others to follow if the nature of the organization depends on prayer and meditation.
With her leadership and determination, the Missionaries of Charity founded by her operate 610 missions in more than 123 countries supported by well over 100,000 volunteers. These missions include hospices and home for AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis patients, orphanages and schools. Even after her death the image and the symbolic position of Mother Teresa helps individuals to be motivated enough to emulate her example in one way or the other. The Saint of the Gutter fought endlessly over the issues of family planning, mainly abortion and artificial contraception (Wikipedia, 2006).
She did not address the masses alone, but spoke to high-level officials and dignitaries at the national and international levels. Mother Teresa took great interest in other important issues. Those were forgiveness and brotherhood with all religions of the world. pillars of faith that led to her successful leadership style which was able to show caring and respect for all individuals regardless of their religion or sect (Wikipedia, 2006). In conclusion, it seems clear that Mother Teresa was able to move and motivate people to action by using the method of leadership by example which I think can be applied to many different situations in the real world and in my own leadership style. She represented the ideals which she believed in and her own force of will made people follow her as a beacon. In stark contrast to many other leaders who ask people to make sacrifices while they themselves enjoy the luxuries which life has to offer, Mother Teresa led by example to an extent which is difficult to find anywhere in the modern world.
Wikipedia. (2006). Mother Teresa. Retrieved September 25, 2006 from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa
Word Count: 529