My daughter recently had to write an essay on the movie, The Truman Show, for a religion class and use the movie as a platform to reflect on views on God’s sovereignty. We ended up have an extensive discussion on the two different traditions—either God is a strong, controlling boss of the Calvinist variety or God is the absent watchmaker of the Deist tradition. Haven’t we all had CEOs who are one or the other? Alternatives do exist.
Studies show that actual on-the-job effectiveness measures are correlated to what is called transformational leadership. These studies identify transformational leadership as leadership that focuses on idealized attributes and behaviors, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (focus on where we are going–the ideal) in contrast to a leadership style which focuses on policing boundaries and exceptions and misbehavior (corrective focus). Transformational leaders Inspire to ensure that all are pulling in the same direction, Enable and Empower people to complete their tasks by providing resources and other support, Model flexibility in envisioning the various routes possible to reach the goal, Challenge processes, not people, and Celebrate successes. When organizations are led by transformational leaders, all are changed in the communal, interactive process. And vision, mission, organizational capacity, and future leadership are built along the route!
What leadership style does you organization support? Is it one of tight control or alternatively, one that exhibits an absent, disengaged leadership style? Or does your organization have a leadership culture where authority is used to ensure process, direction, empowerment, creativity? Which type of organization would you want to join?