The Self-Esteem Facet in Leadership and Education

The Self-Esteem Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch017

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discover how leaders promote the self-esteem facet in their leadership by working to improve the self-esteem of their followers, and using power in an effective manner. In addition, this chapter also elucidates how educators promote the self-esteem facet in their classrooms by using expert power, embracing their roles as leaders in the classroom by improving their own self-esteem, and using reward power. Finally, this chapter also gives credence the arguments of those who oppose the promotion of the self-esteem facet in leadership and education.
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Introduction

Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you. -George R. R. Martin

“If you do not love yourself, you will not have the capacity to love others” (Goodrich & Dukes, 2003, p. 122), is the rallying cry for the importance of self-esteem, which generally defined, is “the regard in which an individual holds himself or herself” (Lamberton & Minor, 2010, p. 34). However, an individual must be careful or else they will fall prey to compensating, which is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals brag about their accomplishments in order to counteract weakness (Lamberton & Minor, 2010). Examples of this include people bragging about their wealth, their intelligence, their social standing, their athletic prowess, or their appearance, all of which compensate for their low self-esteem, and gain approval from others (Lamberton & Minor, 2010). People with high levels of self-esteem perform better at work (Lamberton & Minor, 2010), and they even create their own Pygmalion Effect since they believe in their own ability to succeed (Lamberton & Minor, 2010). They are comfortable in social settings (Lamberton & Minor, 2010), and they have unconditional positive regards meaning that they accept themselves as “worthy and valuable regardless of their behavior” (Lamberton & Minor, 2010, p. 36).

Petrides (2009b) defines self-esteem as the ability of an individual to be “successful and self-confident” (p. 5), and it determines “one’s overall evaluation of oneself” (Petrides, 2001, p. 4). In addition, the self-esteem facet determines the extent to which an individual is “confident, positive, and satisfied with most aspects of their life” (Petrides, 2009a, p. 60). The promotion of the self-esteem facet is of paramount importance for leaders and educators alike, because it is virtually impossible to lead or teach effectively without having a high level of self-esteem (Goleman, 2005; Mortiboys, 2012; Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010).

Consequently, this chapter will help leaders and educators to promote the self-esteem facet by meeting these objectives:

  • Discover how leaders promote the self-esteem facet by improving their own self-esteem and using power.

  • Elucidate how educators promote the self-esteem facet in their classrooms by using expert power and embracing their roles as leaders, which includes improving the self-esteem of their students, and using reward power.

  • Finally, this chapter gives credence to the arguments of those who suggest that the self-esteem facet does not merit promotion in leadership and education.

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Self-Esteem In Leadership

Since leadership is a relationship (Kouzes & Posner, 2003), and it involves social interaction with others (Bass & Bass, 2008), it is imperative that a leader has high levels of self-esteem to remain happy, optimistic, and therefore more likely to succeed in their position of leadership (Bass & Bass, 2008). Consequently, with support from the scholarly literature, the subsequent paragraphs of this section discuss how leaders can promote the self-esteem facet in their leadership by (1) improving their self-esteem, and leading with (2) power. In addition, this chapter will also give credence to (3) the barriers that leaders face when they promote the trait EI facet of self-esteem in their leadership.

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