A leader, indeed every rational person, thinks and acts according to his or her worldview—a way of thinking about the world. A worldview is a perceptual framework—not a philosophy, theology, or a system. Each person’s values or what he or she wishes to occur are derived from worldview presuppositions.
Everyone has a worldview, although some may not acknowledge it. One’s upbringing, relationships, and the prevailing culture significantly influence an individual’s worldview. People whose worldviews differ can have difficulties with communicating and understanding one another and in perceiving what is real. They can even have conflicts as to what matters most.
A favorite story (true) of this blogger indicates how powerful a worldview can be. Alben Barkley, one-time Vice President of the United States under Harry Truman, was the keynote speaker at the 1956 Washington & Lee University Mock Convention in Lexington, Virginia.
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (quoting Psalm 84:10b). He immediately fell dead at the podium. Confusion broke out at the convention, but Vice President Barkley ended his life by expressing the worldview that grounded his honorable leadership.
Future blogs will further examine world view thinking.
Comments will be welcomed.
>>This blog post is based on a discussion in Whetstone, J. T. (2013). Leadership Ethics & Spirituality. Bloomington, IN: WestBow.