The case study about the integration of faith and the desire to have property is devoted to the dilemma of Dave and Bonnie who have different opinions concerning the use of resources that Dave received after his father’s death. The family’s religious beliefs and the views of injustice and charity play an important role in decision-making, and this is why the concepts of Christian business ethics can be helpful. In his book devoted to the topic, Hill (2008) emphasizes the importance of balance between total self-abnegation and hedonic motivations and illustrates both extremities. This position is based on the importance of being a steward, and it can be used to provide a range of potential solutions for the family.
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Contrary to some popular misconceptions, it is not always necessary to practice self-denial to live in accordance with Christian values. Hill (2008) thoroughly discusses this topic with special attention to the outcomes of austerity related to the ability to help others. There is no doubt that charitable activities are often associated with self-denial since both can be seen as the manifestations of altruism (Nantz, 2015).
However, as it is stated by Hill (2008), these notions can sometimes be in conflict since the unwillingness to have property and other resources significantly reduces the ability to help financially vulnerable people. Based on that, Bonnie and Dave can utilize the discussion presented in the book to understand the role of property and money in charity and make necessary conclusions. The ideas from the book can be implemented into practice in different ways, but the key point that the family should understand refers to the limiting nature of divestiture.
If I were in their situation, I would start from analyzing the arguments of both parties and try to follow the advice of Hill and strike the right balance between the options. In the situation in question, Dave believes that having two houses and using the inherited property is not fair since many people are homeless and have no financial resources at all. As for his wife, Bonnie also understands the importance of charitable activities and makes efforts to help other people.
However, in this case, she also defends her interests as a mother, claiming that the opportunity to spend weekends near the lake would be beneficial for their children’s health and development. Although the needs of the spouses seem drastically different, it is possible to apply Hill’s advice concerning the balance between self-denial and hedonism to this case.
Having taken the arguments into account, I would propose the solution based on the advice of Hill. He claims that it is possible to help others by managing wealth responsibly and wisely and distributing it among the needy (Hill, 2008). To implement this position into practice and meet the needs of both spouses, it would be possible to build a cabin and use the location both for family weekends and charitable events for low-income people and their children. What is more, a small camp used as a shelter could be built on the land with the help of other charity providers or large funds. Therefore, there are options that allow Dave and Bonnie to use their property to provide people in a difficult situation with help. Importantly, such solutions do not involve depriving their own children of an opportunity to spend weekends near the lake.
As for the approach to leadership used by Bill Gates, this famous entrepreneur is likely to be a charismatic leader due to his approach to motivating employees and the role that his personal success and talent played for his followers. Transformational and charismatic leadership styles are sometimes confused and regarded as almost identical, whereas there are some obvious differences between them (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2015).
As is clear from the terms, charismatic leaders can rely on their personal qualities and use charisma to produce influence on followers (Mesterova, Prochazka, Vaculik, & Smutny, 2015). Transformational leaders also impact their followers, but this effect is achieved with the help of proper motivation, a well-developed vision, and clear strategies (Mesterova et al., 2015).
The followers of transformational leaders have more freedom when it comes to decision-making power and the ability to impact organizational processes. The facts that point at Bill Gates’s being a charismatic leader include his willingness to motivate programmers by making his own skills perceived as an example and a standard. Similar to transformational leaders, Bill Gates encouraged his followers to become more professional and able to manage risks.
However, in transformational leadership, team leaders do not emphasize their own personality and achievements. The inspirational rhetoric of transformational leaders is based on the ability to produce positive change, but Gates, as it follows from the case, used to underestimate the success of his followers and foster internal competition. Therefore, the fact that his achievements and hard-working nature were overused in motivation can be utilized to classify him as a charismatic leader.
Speaking about the leadership strategy of Bill Gates and its effectiveness, it is extremely important to focus on his employees, their attitudes to motivating practices that he used, and the outcomes of their hard work. According to modern researchers, Microsoft can be listed among the fastest-growing corporations of the twentieth century (Northouse, 2018). The fact that made this outstanding development possible is presented by the concerted efforts of Bill Gates and his employees.
The first working team led by the entrepreneur being discussed consisted of his friends and acquaintances hired to work on the development of products, keep accounting records, and perform other tasks (Northouse, 2018). As the case study indicates, the followers of Bill Gates and their attitudes to work and competition were deeply impacted by their leader’s personality traits, workaholism, and expectations that sometimes were unrealistic. According to Northouse (2018), the majority of his first employees achieved personal success and learned the principles of hard and smart work. However, as the case shows, Bill Gates’s “cult of personality” that gradually developed at Microsoft gave rise to employee motivation practices that were not accepted positively.
In order to identify the leadership style used by Bill Gates, it is pivotal to analyze the characteristics of his employees since the latter often depend on internal practices used in organizations. Using the case and other sources, it is possible to identify the characteristics that speak in favor of Gates’ charismatic leadership. Among them are the willingness to engage in internal competition and employees’ efforts to meet high standards set by Bill Gates.
To begin with, the text states that Bill Gates was perceived as a king of programming, which means that the rules of his game were fully accepted by his employees. Following his example, some employees were ready to overwork and accepted his “win at all cost” approach (Northouse, 2018, p. 33). Taking the rapid development of Microsoft into account, motivational strategies that relied on the leader’s charisma were effective for the employees of Bill Gates. The combination of characteristics discussed above can be used to prove that Bill Gates used a charismatic leadership style to ensure the success of Microsoft and derive benefits from employees’ readiness to compete.
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Hill, A. (2008). Just business: Christian ethics for the marketplace (Rev. ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Hughes, R. L., Ginnett, R. C., & Curphy, G. J. (2015). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Mesterova, J., Prochazka, J., Vaculik, M., & Smutny, P. (2015). Relationship between self-efficacy, transformational leadership and leader effectiveness. Journal of Advanced Management Science, 3(2), 109-122.
Nantz, D. P. (2015). Exposing the roots of external control psychology: Altruism as moral compulsion. International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, 34(2), 24-34.
Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.