Looking at Gardner’s “Tasks of Leadership”, D’Arcy clearlymet the task of motivating. Gardner (2005) states that “effective leaders tap the motives thatserve the purposes of collective action in pursuit of significant shared goals”(p. 3). The task of motivating is seen within a leader using a combination of hopefulnesswith a sense of levelheadedness and practicality when it comes to trying to obtaina goal (Gardner, 2005).
While working with D’Arcy, she constantly came intowork every day with a sense of optimism about what we could do that day. Shemade lists, helped employees, went above and beyond her own tasks, interactedpositively and productively with clients, and most importantly she showed consistencyin her behaviours and actions. She also took accountability when things wentwrong, and faced these problems with solutions, ideas, and yet again, thatamazing positive attitude. I remember one week she gathered everyone in aconference room, and individually congratulated us on our accomplishmentsthroughout the month. She also outlined what our goals would be going forwardin the next month. She gave examples how to reach these goals, and her constantoutlook on the potential of the future was contagious.
I believe her greatest strengththat encapsulates this task of leadership, was her ability to make people see disappointmentand failure as an opportunity for growth, resolution, and change (Gardner,2005). A very applicable theory linked to leadership relating to D’Arcy’s taskof motivating is the complexity theory. The complexity theory states theimportance of looking at persons and groups as multifaceted, complex, alwayschanging and adapting things, which leads to unpredictability and the need forcollaboration for guidance (Grossman & Valiga, 2013). We see thisrelevance as D’Arcy would really take changing outcomes and a variety ofdifferent personalities to motivate the members of the HSF.D’Arcy met manyof Grossman and Valiga’s “Elements of Leadership”, but one of her strongest metelements was the one of vision. Grossman explains that “the ability to see anew world, or a different world, and mobilize others to help make it a realityis one of the hallmarks of leadership” (p.
9). The reason D’Arcy was so good atmotivating was her ability to paint a picture as a vision of the potential ofthe HSF. Many of her visions were not overly large and unattainable, but manysmall realistic visions that make up a larger goal. An example was her visionsof how we could fundraise ten percent more on our annual Big Bike fundraiserjust by enrolling one extra group to participate.
Her vision was supplementedby her enthusiasm and own example of making five extra calls each day. D’Arcywas able to communicate her visions by her natural charism, but as I justmentioned, also though her ability to lead through example as well. She alsoexplained how her smaller visions could grow into a larger vision.
Such as havingan extra fundraising group leading to a ten percent increase in the event’s fundraisingamount, which could lead the ability to have more stroke advertisements, whichessential may catch more eyes, and even save one extra life a day. D’Arcy, whohad personal stroke stories in her life, was able to share her vision for ourHSF center’s goal, and spent every opportunity talking and inspiring our group.Leaders with vision are zealous and make sure they are heard, even if they arenot a main authority figure—just like D’Arcy (Grossman & Valiga, 2013). Anothertheory that links with D’Arcy’s visionary element of leadership is the theoryof appreciative inquiry. The theory of appreciative inquiry, via Havens, Wood,and Leeman (2006) explains “a philosophy and methodology for promoting positiveorganizational change though creating meaningful dialogue, inspiring hope, andinviting action” (p. 464).
I believe this can only begin when there is a strongvisionary. The visionary can promote change and idea by first appreciating whatis happening, envisioning what could be, regulating what will be, and then generatingwhat is (Grossman & Valiga, 2013). D’Arcy’s visions with each step wascommunicated with her own passion for the cause.