Beauty from Ashes: The Transformational Leadership Style of Joyce Meyer

Leadership style is as unique as the individual leader and often embodies such disparate characteristics as power, personality, and charisma (Takala, 2005, p. 45). Scholars have yet to agree on a single definition that sum up this type of leadership (Northouse, 2015, p. 1) and they choose instead to classify it as an approach or method whereby leaders typify certain characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes based on their charismatic personality (Takala, 2005, p. 45). There are many different approaches to leadership that focus on these attributes, but since the mid-1980s and 1990s, scholars have shifted their focus to include the role of vision and charisma in leadership practice (Northouse, 2015, p. 3). These scholars seek to understand how charismatic style can motivate and influence performance (Northouse, 2015, p. 3). Furthermore, scholars interested in the relationship between leadership style and power have examined the role personality and charisma play in developing the leader-follower relationship (Vito, Higgins, & Denny, 2014). Research has suggested that an emotional connection between leader and follower contributed to the desire for followership (Vito, Higgins, & Denny, 2014, p. 810). This research revealed that often leaders use their power, their personality, and their charisma to motivate their followers to achieve goals and objectives (p. 810). As leadership scholars seek to understand the nature of the leader-follower relationship, several theories have developed that place emphasis on these key characteristics. One theory in particular, Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory, suggests that transformational leaders use charisma, inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration to not only create followers, but to transform those followers into leaders (Tucker & Russell, 2004, p. 109).

This brief paper will explore Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory, and will suggest that the leadership style of Joyce Meyer, internationally known Christian minister, preacher, and evangelist, exemplifies this theory. Furthermore, this paper will suggest that as a leader of a worldwide Christian ministry, Joyce Meyer, not only uses her power, her personality, and her charisma to inspire, instill, and influence her followers, but rather she uses these attributes to transform their lives through the powerful message of hope she brings through her preaching, teaching, and evangelizing ministry.