Authentic Credible Leadership


authentic leadership
farewell discourses
Gospel of John

How to Cite

Henson, J., & Hemby, S. (2023). Authentic Credible Leadership: An Examination of Jesus’s Leadership in the Farewell Discourses. Scandinavian Journal for Leadership and Theology, 10, 513–532.


This is a study of authentic credibility as demonstrated through John’s description of Jesus’ words and actions in the Farewell Discourses (John 13-17). Identifying the need for further research on the relationship between authentic leadership and credibility (Williams et al., 2018) and building from Kouzes and Posner’s (2011) six disciplines of leader credibility—discover yourself, appreciate constituents, affirm shared values, develop capacity, serve a purpose, and sustain hope—and Hemby’s (2007) on leader credibility, we espouse that moral foundations of authentic leadership promote leader credibility while not dimensioning the need for competence. After a thorough literature review on authentic leadership, the study explored how Jesus modeled authentic credibility in the Farewell Discourses of John 13 – 17. Reconfiguring Kouzes and Posner’s six disciples through the biblical narrative, we identified six themes of authentic credibility modeled by Jesus: prioritizing Kingdom identity, balancing criticism and optimism, valuing truth, intentional follower development, purposeful posture, and sustainable, spiritual hope. The study applied a systematic approach to the Farewell Discourses so that each of the five chapters of the discourses were thoroughly reviewed to provide specific instances where Jesus modeled authentic credibility. The study provides a fresh perspective on authentic credibility by viewing the concept through a biblical, Christian worldview.


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