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Leadership in the Mission

Grace Howrigon

Leadership Theory

Doctor Loughran

“To assist people to become more competent, purposeful and ethical.”



The concept of leadership fits with the mission of Siena Heights University because it is

the perfect example of a high quality leader and the qualities that he/she should obtain.

Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies at Siena Heights University, our mission

statement has been instilled in my head year after year. The President and the faculty stress the

importance of leaving the University as a better version of self. The qualities of being competent,

purposeful and ethical are tools, that when learned and practiced consistently, make for a

stronger individual and leader.


Competence is vital in leadership; in order to be the leader, one must be able to not only

plan, but execute. A leader must understand the vision and the progression required in order to

achieve the organizational goal. A highly competent leader is capable of effectiveness,

punctuality, and understanding. In order to be competent, one must possess the cognitive

capacity to establish and exceed organizational expectations. Tony Morden writes “Leadership as

Competence” in which he explains leadership competence as an ultimate reflection of individual

personal traits and qualities, from confidence, to integrity, to initiative (Morden, 1997, Personal

traits and qualities, para. 1).” Morden continues on to explain that performance and ability

should be matched with the followers’ own cognitive capabilities. Although the depth of

cognition differs from one individual to the next, Morden explains that it is not necessarily being

the most intelligent that is the most valuable, but rather being the most adaptive.


In a recent article by Justin A. Irving of Bethel University, “Assessing Leader Goal-

Orientation, Follower-Focus, And Purpose-In-Leadership,” Bethel introduces common trends in


leadership that emphasize the importance of follower-focus and goal-orientation (Irving, 2013, p.

83). He goes on to discuss the work done by Paul Wong regarding meaning-centered approaches

to leadership and management. Wong concludes that people “inherently” want to be a part of

something that gives them meaning and purpose (Irving, 2013, p. 83). An organizational body is

lacking in Intrinsic motivation when it is not moving together toward specific and purposeful

common goals. To follow a leader who demonstrates purpose in the way she moves in and

around the organizational body is inspiring, often resulting in a trickle effect throughout the



In a brief essay titled Ethical Leadership, Jane A. Van Buren explores the meaning of

ethical leadership in nonprofit organizations (Van Buren, para. 1). Ethics are the ruler of

organizational conscience; the governing body that answers when one asks herself, as a member

of the organization, “What should I do?” They are the values on which a leader builds her empire

and the values on which she calls when she faces a difficult, perhaps conflicting decision. In

order to implement them, she must know them; radiate them. In order to be followed, a leader

must be attractive, credible and legitimate in her implementation (Brown, M.E. et al. p. 130). In

other words, she must act with integrity. An ethical leader demonstrates this integrity through her

attitude, her work ethic, her communication, the vehicles she uses to she accelerate the

organization’s progression. Van Buren defines ethical leadership as “the process of influencing

people through principles, values and beliefs that embrace what we have defined as right

behavior (Van Buren, para. 2).” In order to expect right and just behavior from her followers, a

leader must exemplify what is right and just for the body of her organization.


“To assist people to become more competent, purposeful and ethical.” These three

qualities are necessary in leadership. Without competence, the knowledge doesn’t exist. Without

purpose, human nature does not allow our best. Without ethics, there are no values to stand on

together. In order to be a high quality, effective leader, these qualities are necessary.


Brown, Michael E., Tevino, Linda K., Harrison, David A. (2004). Ethical Leadership: A social

learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and

Human Decision Processes 97, 117-134.




Irving, Justin A. (Feb 2013). Assessing Leader Goal-Orientation, Follower-Focus, and

Purpose-In-Leadership: Development and Initial Testing of the Purpose in Leadership

Inventory. ASBBS Proceedings 20.1, 82-93.

Morden, Tony. (1997) Leadership as Competence. Management Decision 35.7, 519-526.


Van Buren, Jane A. Ethical Leadership. Noonmark Nonprofit Services, 1-5.