Through traits like honesty, integrity, self confidence, motivation, and knowledge, Reverend Graham is able connect with huge groups of people who are searching for direction in their personal lives. Through careful research and studying, he has been able to compile knowledge and wisdom, and apply that in his sermons. He could grab the attention of thousands in a stadium with his communication skills. He is organized and has shown people how to live by example. To some, his style of preaching may seem tough, but he shares what he believes.
He lays it all on the line, and it is up to the people to decide where to go next. The Reverend does not think of what he does as a responsibility or burden, but rather an opportunity to share what he is passionate about with others so that they can feel the same joy that he does. As alluded to earlier, leaders must have certain traits to be successful and Billy Graham has just about every trait that defines a successful leader. Recently, the Reverend was interviewed by Dr. Thom Rainer who is the CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources. After the interview Dr.
Rainer said, The name of Billy Graham inevitably reminds us of integrity. His is a life that did not compromise morally. He has lead a life of incredible honesty. Leadership at any level cannot begin to function well unless the leader has integrity. (Rainer 2009). Not only does Reverend Graham have integrity and honesty, but he has self confidence, motivation, and knowledge. In a country that is known for having very egotistical and self centered leaders, Billy Graham sets himself apart from the pack. There are stories after stories of people that have been emotionally touched by this man.
He is known to not even talk about himself in an interview, but be more interested in the reporter, and where they come from, their family and their personal walk with God. This illustration shows that when a person talks to Billy Graham he is actually asserting true self confidence even though he is not talking about himself. He has a motivation to convey his message to that person towards the end of the conversation, and he has the knowledge after he has found out about their background to share that message when he has found a common ground with them.
He is a master of all traits that personify a leader and he can lead a person where he wants them to go without them even realizing it. Reverend Billy Graham has skills that were not only obtained though studying scripture and other books in his profession, but most importantly, through listening to others and gaining a certain knowledge and understanding of people. The Reverend does Crusades all over the world and offers an invitation at the end to invite people to know Jesus in their heart. He has reached almost three million people in his Crusades alone which shows that he has a way of teaching and reaching people in a powerful way.
He is able to consolidate the most compelling words and sentences into his sermons instead of losing people to boredom, or not finding a piece of his message that will strike at least one nerve with everyone in the audience. He can build a bridge with people of completely different ideological views. Author Maynard Stoddard said, No religious crusader has carried the gospel message to more people in more lands, presented that message with more power or authority, or stirred a deeper response in his listeners. (Stoddard 1986). He has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S.
Truman. He has counseled presidents and kings all over the world, yet continues to retain the skill of being humble. He realizes that he too is a follower and without his leader he would not be anyone. He understands what he has is a gift. Everyone needs a level of self-awareness about their talents and abilities. As a leader, this is even more important because you serve your team or organization best when your gifts are being used and brought to their fullest potential. These skills coupled with the traits that have been talked about create an irrepressible leader.
Lastly, a leader must have a certain style or behavior to be a leader. Billy Graham is able to combine his goal of getting his message and vision across to everyone in a very tough, direct and sometimes rigid way, but at the same time he makes people feel comfortable by showing them positive things that can happen in their lives. He is easily able to tell testimonies, build trust and respect based on commonalities, and then lay out a plan of salvation for the audience. He wants as many people to accept Jesus into their hearts as possible, but numbers are not everything.
He wants people to truly understand the message, and not make a decision based on emotions, but one based on a truth that they can follow forever. According to Blake and Moutons Leadership Grid, Reverend Graham is a team leader. He has a song emphasis on the task and the people. He wants participation, he makes the message very clear so there are no misunderstandings, he loves preaching because it is his passion, and even though he is in a profession where he could do all the talking, he continues to keep an open mind so he can learn from others and adapt to new situations.
Even though there are several different and acceptable types of leaders, these attributes help to show the style of leadership that has molded Mr. Graham into being such a successful leader. In conclusion, Reverend Graham has defined what a leader should be. He has been able to become a successful leader mainly through understanding the fine line between being very rigid and being what people consider to be a dreamer. He has clearly been able to walk that line and not stray from it at all. After 93 years on this earth, he is still pursuing his passion. People still leave feeling like they know him personally and feeling a sense of validation.