Joan of Arch is a poor farm girl that\eaves on France. Joan claims to hear the voices of God, St. Catherine and St. Margaret and St. Michael telling her what to do in order to defeat English and retake French territory. Joan persuades everyone, from Robert, to the King, that she has to lead the army because she is God’s servant and that is the only way France is going to win. After winning, she is accused from been a witch and she is consider a threat to the Church and therefore she is burnt.
Throughout the entire case we analyze a variety of leadership issues. There is a difference in leadership between Joan and King Charles, there is some discrimination towards Joan because she is a women (gender inequality), there is also a conservation of power by the Church and, finally, a resistance to change from Joan’s part when they try to convince that the change she wants to implement is wrong.
The difference in leadership Between Joan and Charles is very significant. We can refer to Charles leadership style approach by looking at the Blake and Mouton’s Managerial (Leadership) Grid. When focusing on the grid we can conclude that Charles is in the Impoverished Management side. This type of leader goes through the motion of being leader but acts uninvolved and withdrawn, could be described as indifferent, noncommittal, resigned and apathetic. (Northouse page 80) Charles is not concerned about pursuing a goal or gaining affection or popularity among the people. He is more centered about his own personal objectives, without taking in consideration the people of France. We can see this clearly in this part of the case:
“I never asked to be a king: it was pushed on me. So if you are going to say “Son of St Louis: gird on the sword of your ancestors, and lead us to victory” you may spare your breath to cool your porridge; for I cannot do it. I am not built that way; and there is an end of it. I don’t want to have courage Put into me. I want to sleep in a comfortable bed, and not live in continual terror of being killed or wounded. Put courage into the others, and let them have their bellyful of fighting; but let me alone.” (St. Joan Case, page 7). On the other had, we can see Joan as a transformational leader, she is very charismatic and she is concerned with changing and transforming people.
She is concerned with emotion, values, ethics, and long-term goals, in this case, saving France form the British. Transformational leadership involves an exceptional form of influence that moves followers to accomplish more than what is usually expected of them. (Northouse, page 185) Joan clearly influences everyone that surrounded her, even the king, she strives to make some changes and, thus, accomplish them by using charisma and inner strength.
In the case, everyone was surprised that Joan wanted to lead the army because that was considered a men’s job. When Joan first arrive to convince Robert about been sent by God and that she is the one that is suppose to regain French territory, Robert did not believe her. Robert among the majority of men in the case established the fact that Joan is a girl and that therefore it was impossible for her to achieve her goal. Even Joan acknowledges what it is expected from a women to do when she says: Nay: “I am no shepherd lass, though I have helped with the sheep like anyone else. I will do a lady’s work in the house-spin or weave-against any woman in Rouen.” (St. Joan Case, page 11)
The conflict between Joan and the Church emerged when the British realized that Joan was a threat for the Church power and that consequently she had to be killed. “The English discuss the threat she poses physically and ideologically. She has come to represent the protest of the individual soul against the interference of the priest between man and God. This individualism also called nationalism, the English sees as anti-Catholic and anti-Christian. Such iconoclastic individualism will destroy the church and the state if not checked.”
(St. Joan Case, page 9). With this quote we realized how the Church is afraid to loosing power because of Joan influence. This is a very autocratic way of seeing power, if someone does not agree with the church or does not behave as it is suppose to, he or she, in this case Joan, will be condemned to die. This relationship can be described in terms of the Ego States of Leader and Subordinate, a parent-child interaction where when the child (Joan) does not obey the parent (Church), the child must be punished in order to learn.
When Joan faces a dramatic resistance to change when she tries to implement her vision and therefore she starts looking ways of how to implement it in order for it to be more effective. Joan uses a variety of resources in order to overcome resistance. First, she is very persistent and does not take “no” for an answer, an example of this is when Robert was not willing to see her but she did not leave his house until he at least agrees to see her.
Then, Joan approached the resistance rationally; she made good argument and stood for her believing. Joan then also encouraged people to take her vision and spread it. Joan was very determined with what she wanted to accomplished and therefore she was not scare, she lead by example because she was willing to die in the name of God.
Joan’s way of communicating her goals does not change over time, at the end of the case you can see how she is maybe more confident but still using the same rationality to respond the questions that were asked to her. Her goals did not change overall, at first they where more centered on winning French territory, when winning then she decided to regain Paris and this was saw as “too much”.
Even Bluebeard told her “Not content with being Pope Joan, you must be Caesar and Alexander as well.” (St. Joan case, page 9) referring to the fact that she had already accomplished a lot and that she must be fulfilled with that. Joan was very determinant and ambitious.
As a conclusion, we can see how many of this leadership issues are a part of todays world. Even though we say that we do not live in a male-chauvinism society, we can see that in many parts of the world this is still a problem. This gender inequality also emerges in business situations where it is very difficult for women to achieve a major CEO position. The power of authority is still around the world, we can see how, maybe instead of the church, nowadays it is the government the one that wants to be in control of everything and would act in many different ways in order to keep the power. Problems in leadership have not vanished and thus we should be careful and learn from different experiences.