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What's Faith Got to Do With Leadership?

I don’t know what you place your #faith in. Perhaps its Allah, perhaps its Buddha, perhaps its Christ or yourself………Perhaps its none of these. When I ask this question of clients, more often than not I get a defensive response. A retort that is laced with incredulity that I would ask such a question. A response indicating that is personal and in their mind a question that has nothing to do with how they lead or show up.


My question is, in fact, not out of curiosity or based in some assumptive judgement. The question has everything to do with how you show up and lead. #Leadership is difficult. If we ourselves are not grounded in and aligned around what we rely on as truth and, what we hold as core values, it can make the responsibility of leading a lot more challenging.


Faith, according to Dictionary.com is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. Some of the outflow of faith for leaders, as indicated in ChatGPT include:

1. Vision and Direction: Faith can provide leaders with a clear vision and direction for themselves and their teams. Believing in a higher purpose or a larger goal can help leaders set ambitious objectives and inspire their team members to work towards a common cause. 2. Resilience: Leaders often face challenges, setbacks, and uncertainties. Having faith, the potential for positive outcomes, or the support of their team can give leaders the resilience to navigate difficult situations with determination and optimism. 3. Confidence: Faith can boost a leader's confidence and self-assurance. When leaders believe in themselves and their decisions, they are more likely to make bold choices and lead with conviction. 4. Decision-Making: Faith can provide a moral and ethical compass that guides leaders in their decision-making. Leaders who have faith in certain values or principles are more likely to make decisions that align with those values, promoting integrity and ethical behavior within their teams. 5. Trust Building: Faith can help leaders establish and strengthen trust with their team members. When leaders demonstrate consistency, reliability, and a commitment to their beliefs, team members are more likely to trust their leadership. 6. Emotional Intelligence: Leaders with faith often have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations. This emotional intelligence can aid in effective communication, empathy, and building strong relationships with team members. 7. Adaptability: Faith can encourage leaders to embrace change and adapt to new circumstances. Believing that challenges can be overcome and that growth is possible can lead to more agile and flexible leadership styles. 8. Long-Term Perspective: Faith can shift leaders' focus from short-term gains to long-term outcomes. Leaders who have faith in the value of their efforts are more likely to invest in sustainable strategies and solutions. 9. Empowerment: Faith can empower leaders to empower others. When leaders believe in the abilities and potential of their team members, they are more likely to delegate responsibilities, provide opportunities for growth, and create a sense of ownership among team members.


In order to be a more integrated leader, one who exhibits greater #authenticity, understanding what role faith plays in our lives can be a significant contributor. The model of Cognitive Behavioral Coaching posits that cognitions drive behaviors. Put another way, our beliefs, contribute to and shape our interpretation of events, which form the thoughts and emotions that drive behavior. Without understanding our foundation, what our beliefs are and how they shape our thoughts, it can be more difficult to consistently manage ourselves and lead others.


When we respond with anger, incredulity or bold assertions to any question, its often an indication of a stress response. A response grounded in an interpretation that represents a threat to our sense of self (our ego) being challenged. When this happens, the course of action in mitigating this response is to:

1) Identify the trigger

2) Understand why it created the threat (how did you interpret what was asked/said)

3) Evaluate other possible interpretations or thought patterns

4) Practice replacing the negative interpretation with the new patterns to revise the defensive behavior.


Therefore, if you, as a leader, have not had or taken the time to evaluate the basis of your underlying belief system for yourself, don’t be offended should the question be asked. It is an opportunity for you to dive deeper into the journey of leadership development exploring an avenue that is all too often overlooked due to the assumptions (or interpretations) surrounding it.


For additional information on achieving and exhibiting greater authenticity in leadership, contact us at 877-689-8256 or info@developinsights.com.

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