Suppose I have the opportunity to accept an essential position in the government such as being prime minister, I opine that Thomas More would advise me to take it because he was once a leader who served with integrity. People in leadership positions can influence others to focus on achieving a vision. Inspiring others allows individuals to have common goals, which are important motivating them to collaborate in teams. Being a great leader is not only based on persuasion but also on ethical issues that need to be considered for organizational conduct and effectiveness. Thomas More was born in London, Milk-street in the year 1478. He studied law while in university and was eventually elected to serve as a member of parliament in the year 1504 and rose ranks to a public official and later to a statesman. In 1514 he became Master of Requests and joined the Privy Council. Eventually, More was made a knight by King Henry VII in May 1521. King Henry VIII made Thomas More Lord Chancellor of England, the first layman to hold this position. He was now the most influential person in England after the king and widely respected for his honesty at a time when bribery was rampant.
Thomas More was not only an English statesman and author of Utopia but also a martyr in the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, Thomas More was unhappy with the pervasive corruption taking place within the Roman Catholic Church, and he sought to combat it. Thomas More did not stand for corruption and his efforts to eradicate it did not go well with those above him in power. His downfall started when he opposed some of King Henry VIII’s policies. Rather than being embroiled in a political fight, Thomas More remained neutral, yet loyal to both his king and Catholic God. What is more, Thomas More knew nothing could be gained by declaring public enemies; thus, he chooses to stay away from politics. For adhering to his Catholic faith, and silently refusing to acknowledge King Henry’s divorce from Katharine of Aragon, Thomas More was detained for fourteen months awaiting trial. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to death by decapitation. The death of Thomas More led to widespread indignation on the Continent, and he was initially perceived as a model of integrity and a Seneca-like counselor who resisted a tyrannical ruler.
The word ‘utopia‘ was coined from the Greek word “ou-topos,” which means nowhere or no place (Bevilacqua, 2017). Broadly conceived, Utopia is an image of a world not yet in existence that is different from and better than the world we inhabit now (Bevilacqua, 2017). In the view of the revolutionary, Utopia provides a vision to be realized whilst offering a goal to reach. On the contrary, the reformer thinks that it provides a compass point to determine what direction to move toward and a measuring stick to determine how far one has come (Bevilacqua, 2017). Utopia is politically necessary even for those who do not desire an alternative society at all (Bevilacqua, 2017). Thomas More prefers an alternate reality, that is Utopia where there is no corruption, greed, and power struggles unlike in European societies where corruption is the norm of the day. As a leader, I will be more of a revolutionary leader and incorporate some of the policies that made Thomas More effective in his leadership style. It is important that people understand the impact a leader has on the society he/she leads. By doing so, the society will be able to choose the best-suited leader to lead them.
Thomas more can be said to be an ethos leader because he demonstrates leadership through his values, attitudes, beliefs, and management principles. Being an Ethos Leader is about consistently setting the tone from all perspectives, including professionalism, morality, integrity, ethics, and competitive approach. People choose to follow the ethos leaders because of what they stand for, or of what they think the leaders are made. Thus, ethos leadership tends to deal with issues of personal and organizational substance. I need to develop and cultivate a routine of acquiring education through self-study, training, books, colleagues and learning from experience to become a good leader. Essentially, seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening one’s attributes. Additionally, the practice of leadership development needs to pay attention to integration in at least two important senses (Thomas, 2008). One relates to the design and delivery of leadership development and the need to focus on both the development of leaders and that of leadership as it is practiced in the organization (Thomas, 2008). The latter requires a focus on the choice’s leaders make and the assumptions and skills they bring to decision-making (Thomas, 2008). In order to be an effective leader, I should be able to inspire and motivate those under my instructions so as to achieve desired goals.
Governments today need efficient and effective leaders who have a vision and understand the complexities that exist not only in the national environment but also the global scene. In my opinion, people want to be guided by leaders they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. Leaders must be ethical to gain respect. More is respected because he stood for what he believed was right and did not waiver even when King Henry had him arrested. By looking at Thomas More’s principles, It is appropriate for leaders to follow the rules even if it means standing alone against tyranny. In my opinion, good leadership is about effective communication, integrity, and good decision-making/judgment. Excellent leaders are able to motivate their followers to make the most out of their skills to achieve organizational goals. Such leaders also set goals high to encourage workers to work hard to achieve them. Only those leaders that demand the best possible form their followers achieve success. Even though the art of leadership can be learned, there are certain attributes which contribute to the overall package of leading such as values, ethics, character, courage, and beliefs. These are what made Thomas More respected and revered during his time. Excellent leaders usually desire continued development. Additionally, they influence followers to stop limiting themselves and instead challenge themselves to explore their skills and talents to achieve organizational objectives. I need to share my vision of the organization with my followers for me to succeed in leading the team to achieve the vision. If those under me are not convinced about the worth of the vision or they think that I am not capable of achieving it, then they are likely to be demotivated to work towards it. As such, the organization is unlikely to succeed in its endeavors.
A great leader leads by example, as illustrated by Thomas More and his/her followers voluntarily and unanimously agree to his/her leadership style. Leaders experience several challenges in implementing their vision, but successful leaders always find ways of overcoming such hurdles. It is imperative for leaders to ensure that their followers are motivated if they are to achieve their goals. Furthermore, if a change is to matter, spread, and last, the priority of the systems in which leaders work in should be sustainable leadership.
Thomas, H., & Carnall, C. (2008). Leadership development: integration in context. Strategic Change, 17(5-6), 193-206.
Bevilacqua, M. G. (2017, November). Between utopian image and heterotopic reality. Thinking/imagining participatory planning (and also hospitality) starting from reality. In Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Proceedings (Vol. 1, No. 9, p. 873).