Albanian Woman Leadership and Organisational Culture

Mother Teresa, one of the most successful figures in helping the poor before she was a Catholic missionary, was an Albanian girl. Her leadership, described as situational leadership, is based on Albanian female leadership and Albanian Organisational Culture, enriched with the Catholic tradition. In this study, Klara Buda tries to analyze the nature of Leadership[1] of Albanian women in general and Albanian Organisational Culture, based on the example of historical figures of Albanian women from antiquity to our days, having as a pillar the example of Mother Teresa.
Klara Buda

26 august 2016, NY, USA Traduction generated automatically

The special leadership style of the Albanian woman

(from antiquity, Albanian totalitarianism to the Kosovo war and the construction of the new state)

(Since when can we talk about Albanian feminism?)

“From her birthplace in Skopje to humanity’s most beloved humanitarian, Mother Teresa is the most excellent example of Albanian women’s leadership! » UN

« Men shadow the lozi assembly, the point that does not fall from which women live! » Chajupi

Mother Teresa, one of the most successful figures in helping the poor before she was a Catholic missionary, was an Albanian girl. Her leadership, described as situational leadership, is based on Albanian female leadership and Albanian Organisational Culture, enriched with the Catholic tradition. In this study, Klara Buda tries to analyze the nature of Leadership[1] of Albanian women in general and Albanian Organisational Culture, based on the example of historical figures of Albanian women from antiquity to our days, having as a pillar the example of Mother Teresa.

The leadership of Albanian women is a leadership of situations! Simple women and the list is very long, in most cases have helped and found solutions for their children and families, in difficult situations, but not only in difficult situations. It is precisely from this ground that later, depending on the conditions, their qualities as leaders of situations were put into practice and they were discovered as leaders, of the community and beyond. Regardless of the education level of the woman, mother or daughter, this is the most widespread style of Albanian female leadership.

What are its features?

Every leader is born and raised in special social and historical conditions. For Albanian female leadership to be expressed in most cases, one particularity is observed: the total absence of male presence. Exceptions are the cases of women who are aware of their role, mainly in modern times, such as the case of Mother Teresa.

The Albanian woman and girls have manifested in most situations when the husband has been absent from the family, in the case of women when the husband has died, in the case of girls when the father has died, in the absence of brothers, or when brothers have been lost or killed for because of wars.

The case of sworn virgins is an exception that proves the above rule. They “turn” into men in terms of customs and behavior in society, and regardless of the conditions (although even in these cases the male element is often missing in the family), they thus take the leading role that in the traditional Albanian society the man normally has.

To illustrate what we said above, parables come from antiquity. Queen Teuta was the widow of King Agron, while Shote Galica was the widow of Azem Galica.

So the leadership of the Albanian woman was manifested very early and very often, or almost always, it appeared in the absence of the male element, or the man.

Under these conditions, the hypothesis arises that he is a leadership linked to our patriarchal family tradition. This type of leadership has been influenced or has taken shape, also as a result of a special masculine style (man) that sometimes stands out more for laziness or incompetence. A situation that the Albanian poet of the 19th century, Andon Zako Çajupi, describes very clearly in the emblematic verses: “Men gather under the shadow of their mother, the point is that they live from women! »

This social condition has historically had a negligible impact on the creation of the basis of female leadership, since the Albanian woman (accustomed to this type of man), often does not expect help from the malefactor, and unlike other patriarchal societies (where the man provides the financial side of the family) she knows that she is the one who has to finish the job, she is the one who has to act both in everyday life and in special difficult situations.

But usually, under normal conditions, the woman will have to leave the leadership role to her husband, brother, or even son. These are silent norms, but which the traditional Albanian society requires and respects.

What is the traditional contribution of the Albanian woman to the family?

Provides food

– through cooking, and with traditional Albanian specialties such as burek, manages to feed the family with little or nothing (only flour, oil, and the filling that varies according to the food of the moment, even only with beans and flour, dredhanik turned into art in Korça area) a difficult job for many housewives all over the world.

Provides shelter

– through traditional hospitality she (here together with her husband) provides shelter.

Provides clothing

– through making clothes, (once she would weave or spin) she does this normally as well as in difficult situations.

Ensures hygiene

– through care, the woman washing the clothes and cleaning the house, prevents the disease and is the one who takes care of the sick child, the parents, but not only.

In these conditions, we can say that the Leadership of Mother Teresa, known as a Leadership of situations, is inspired by Albanian Female Leadership. It is the genius of Mother Teresa, who realized that she could not perform this leadership role in her country. So she left entering the monastery.

Mother Teresa, following the example of the women of her family, city, and country, will help people whether they are hungry, homeless, or sick. She, under the example of the Albanian mother, like a mother with her children, will not discriminate and will not choose who to help and who not, but will help and give love to everyone without any distinction. She will not be limited to one type of help, but as a mother will provide them with food, a place to stay and health care, or all together when needed.

With her action, she was free to develop her talent and by replacing her native Skopje with Calcutta, she made the Albanian female leadership take planetary proportions.

Thanks to a special intelligence, Mother Teresa will raise the Albanian female leadership to dimensions never achieved before by other Albanian women.

But as we showed above, despite the enrichment and perfection she made of these principles, she inherited them from her mother and grandmother, so it is important to underline that their basis comes from Albanian culture, and Albanian female leadership.

Mother Teresa will learn English, a greater language to communicate with more people. She will choose India, where at that time there are more poor people, to help as many people as possible and where she has many difficulties, and she does not have the means to help everyone, but she will choose “to challenge” and will learn to find funds to help all the poor in need. She learned not only the language but also how to give first aid and provide an emergency service, equipping herself with everything she needs to communicate and help a person in need! Her special ingenuity and creativity will help her find solutions to every situation she encounters on her way to helping the poor. In the most difficult situations and above all where her Leadership role goes to a higher level it is a result of the fact that she will make plans to help the people of India and she will manage to help many more people than a government social system, proving also the fact that the dimension of success depends only on the dimension it takes in our head and heart.

She will inspire many humanitarian workers and in return, many students she had taught will return to join her on her way to help humanity.

In the book: “Mother Teresa CEO: Unexpected Principles for Practical Leadership”, published by Berrett-Koehler publishers (Mother Teresa CEO: Surprising Principles for Practical Leadership), the authors Ruma Bose and Lou Faust look at the leadership role of Mother Teresa from a perspective of new, in the perspective of Leadership in business[2].

They qualify Mother Teresa’s leadership style as based on “absolute simplicity and practicality” and that her leadership principles are “learning by observation, inspiration by example and universal applicability”.

According to these authors, the five lessons that emerged from Mother Teresa’s leadership style are:
Clearly identify your mission. There is no doubt that Mother Teresa’s action was to help the poor. (Knowing your mission well and making it as simple as possible for others helps guide your organization.)
Knowing where to set limits.
Mother Teresa has often been criticized for the choices she made, but her goal was to finish the job while always respecting what she believed in.

Waiting for the right time.
Mother Teresa waited twenty years to start Missionaries of Christ in Calcutta.

Embrace the doubt.
Mother Teresa had doubts and expressed them. She thought that asking questions and reassessing your mission are essential elements to growing and developing as a Leader.

Follow your passion and mission.
Mother Teresa knew what her life’s calling was and she followed it.

If we were to further develop the qualities of this type of leadership, considering a group of other authors, we would add other characteristics such as:

Organization and Discipline: She continued with iron discipline to learn English, and the principles of Catholicism, and when she was sent to India, she was able to learn enough to be sure that she was ready to care for and help the poor and needy. This was even clear to him before he received permission to dedicate himself to this mission.
Determination: She was concerned about poverty in India and after deciding to devote her life to caring for the poor, she did so with greater determination throughout her life.
Equipping with proper tools: She learned the methods of medicine and provided the tools (food and shelter) as well as funds and only then decided to help the sick and the poor in need. She provided everything she needed so that she could accomplish her mission, before starting this mission.
Effectiveness: She made known the plight of poverty in countries like India and inspired many associations to come to her aid and various institutions to provide funds for her mission. So she increased the effectiveness of her work by gathering many collaborators and in return became known as a famous humanitarian.
Intelligence: She learned the language and also how to use medicine professionally to help the sick. She learned all her life.
Trustworthiness: She helped many people who depended on her for food, medicine, shelter, etc. She never left anyone who asked her for help without helping her, because before opening her mission she was informed about the needs and prepared to be sure to meet all the needs. This made him gain credibility, and people believed in him.
Courage: She was willing to take a chance. She left her home and family to provide for and help those in need.
Confidence: She was confident in her work and had faith in herself.
Care: She cared for all the people who came to ask for help, she did not reject anyone.
Inspirational being: She inspires others to do good. People, when they saw what she did, were inspired to join her, to help those less fortunate.

“Mother Teresa CEO: Unexpected Principles for Practical Leadership”, Berrett-Koehler publishers

[1] Leadership

[2] Mother Teresa led an organization with 4,000 employees in over 100 countries, as well as more than 1 million volunteers.