The following material has been developed by a range of contributors and KVA Consulting. Strenuous efforts have been made to reflect the Bahá'i Teachings as accurately as possible but there has been no official review of these submittals.
One of the significant and distinguishing features of Bahá'i Administration is the detailed manner in which administrative practice and spirit are discussed, and the way in which this information is freely available for participants to study. A very important example of this is a paragraph Shoghi Effendi wrote concerning the development of By-Laws for the NSA of the United States:
"I would specifically remind you that in the text of the said By-Laws which to the outside world represents the expression of the aspirations, the motives and objects that animate the collective responsibilities of Baha'i Fellowship, due emphasis should not be placed only on the concentrated authority, the rights, the privileges and prerogatives enjoyed by the elected national representatives of the believers, but that special stress be laid also on their responsibilities as willing ministers, faithful stewards and loyal trustees to those who have chosen them. Let it be made clear to every inquiring reader that among the most outstanding and sacred duties incumbent upon those who have been called upon to initiate, direct and coordinate the affairs of the Cause, are those that require them to win by every means in their power the confidence and affection of those whom it is their privilege to serve. Theirs is the duty to investigate and acquaint themselves with the considered views, the prevailing sentiments, the personal convictions of those whose welfare it is their solemn obligation to promote. Theirs is the duty to purge once for all their deliberations and the general conduct of their affairs from that air of self-contained aloofness, from the suspicion of secrecy, the stifling atmosphere of dictatorial assertiveness, in short, from every word and deed that might savor of partiality, self-centeredness and prejudice. Theirs is the duty, while retaining the sacred and exclusive right of final decision in their hands, to invite discussion, provide information, ventilate grievances, welcome advice from even the most humble and insignificant members of the Baha'i family, expose their motives, set forth their plans, justify their actions, revise if necessary their verdict, foster the sense of interdependence and co-partnership, of understanding and mutual confidence between them on one hand and all local Assemblies and individual believers on the other."
(Shoghi Effendi: Baha'i Administration, Pages: 143-144)
Bahá'i References re. Leadership
In utilizing Bahá'i inspired materials it is valuable to keep a number of historical perspectives in mind: