Here’s the crash course for you!
30 years ago Transformational Leadership got some traction and it focused on something nothing else had: Followers.
What motivates and develops Followers created a paradigm shift in Leadership Studies that continues to be researched and written about quite a bit.
(The image shows 5 factors Transformational Leaders employ.)
The 4 Main Components that define Transformational Leadership
The four key components in play:
- Intellectual Stimulation – In Transformational Leadership the leader challenges the status quo, encourages creative solutions, and leads followers toward exploring new ways of doing things while offering new opportunities to learn and grow.
- Individualized Consideration – In Transformational Leadership the leader offers support and encouragement to individual followers that help to foster supportive relationships among the team, and endeavors to help followers keep the lines of communication open to more easily share ideas. There is also recognition of team members’ unique contributions.
- Inspirational Motivation – In Transformational Leadership the leader has a clear vision that is articulated to the followers. With this clearly articulated vision followers may share and experience similar passion and stay better motivated to see the vision through to completion.
- Idealized Influence – A Transformational leader serves as a role model for her followers. She exemplifies the values she hopes to engender. This builds trust and respect for the leader. (This had been called “charisma” but has grown more nuanced.)
The Book that started it all:
Updated and expanded in 2005
I got the great privilege to sit under the wise teaching of Dr Barbara Krasner yesterday. (Contextual therapy and a family systems-centered healing perspective.)
With 48 years of experience as a therapist and scholar can you imagine the depths of her knowledge and understanding? But, probably not.
Every sentence was 9 months pregnant with power and meaning. Each concept could be a textbook of its own. Wisdom. Truly.
One of the things that struck me was that she said the first 10 sessions of therapy is almost wasted. People come with certain expectations or barriers every time they first begin therapy, which delays healing.
• Often we simply just want the other person “fixed”.
• We are too ready and able to blame or judge, which the Dr says has zero value.
• We also hope for magic. They assume she will have powers and skills to quickly produce healing and normalcy for them.
She says that she sees her vocation not as a person who has the answers, or simple fixes, but as one can help others see resources they can use to help themselves. Resources they are unaware of or haven’t considered. Communication resources, options, starting points. She helps them look “under rocks to see what they’ve missed, to see what’s working, even if it’s the most basic thing. They may not realize that hope is a choice for them.
Communication and Transactions
Krasner says it’s important to “simultaneously translate” what a person is saying and what they are intending to say. What is heard is often misunderstood and one’s upbringing plays into how we hear others poorly.
• Understanding the context of the message and the person is critical for coming to points of healing and trust.
The biggest reason people divorce?
• They cannot disagree and still stay connected.
(This is true for other kinds of troubled relationships also.)
The most important things we can teach our children?
Are you considered an Exciting Leader or a Consistent one?
It’s hard to balance both.
Remember, you are invited to add your voice to the greater dialogue too. Go here to get details, a spiffy Badge, and get started. I’ll be sure to check for your link and read your contribution, and others will too.
Once upon a time…
I had a boss. She was a pioneer; she was inspiring.
Back when email accounts were rare, and big companies had to be heartily convinced that a budget for a website wasn’t foolish, she hired me after merely looking at my portfolio and resumé in an email document.
We never met.
There was no on-site interview.
She just called and told me she wanted me after an email exchange. Boom. I was hired.
This was unheard of.
She mentioned this strange and new-fangled hiring fact in a speech to show how fast things were changing through innovations in technology. She was ahead of her time.
I thought working for her would be exciting. We were breaking into new technological territory each day, and she saw a bright future for us. But, she turned out to be capricious and inconsistent. No one knew what she would say or do next. It was hard to follow her or to trust her because she was so unpredictable. Turnover was high and people were often fired as soon as things went wrong.
This is not uncommon in Leadership.
It’s tricky to be a Leader who’s exciting and inspiring and yet one who uses consistent leadership methods that help people follow well.
Leaders, it’s important to be predictable, especially in our character and responses.
If people can’t tell how you’ll react, or if immaturity has you all over the map, your leadership will erode. You’ll lose support. Failure is imminent.
In both of New Gingrich’s recent bids for the White House his team complained that while he had inspiring and innovative ideas, he was hard to follow. He’d bounce from one objective to another and go with his gut without communicating what he was thinking or going to do. At one point a mass exodus happened in all the top positions of his campaign. Poor leadership.
On the other hand, someone like long-time politician Bob Dole was so consistent that he was utterly uninspiring to those he hoped to lead. He failed to generate enough excitement for his ideas. No momentum. Failure.
Inspiring vision beyond current circumstances is vital.
The balance is a tough skill set to master. It comes through trail and error and personal growth.
Are you both inspiring and consistent?
How could you even this out?
Read the 4 other entries for this Leadership Week series, and please pass along a link to this page so others can tap into the information.
Thanks for coming today.
What happens when a Leader imposes a term limit on him or herself?
A few things and they’re all good.
Again today, I’m a Contributor at the Deeper Leader SyncrhoBlog that runs September 10-14th.
You are invited to add your voice to the greater dialogue too. Go here to get details, get your spiffy Badge, and get started! I’ll be sure to check for your link and read your contribution, and others will too.
George Washington had a brilliant idea about his job as a leader: impose term limits
Although George Washington had the character and credibility to be President as long as he desired, he saw the dangers inherent in keeping the same position of leadership for too long.
It’s rare that a leader will have the wisdom to limit his or her position, but it creates some things vital to the long-term success of the organization.
A corruption of power is the most obvious reason leadership needs limits, but some other vital reasons apply.
Freshness A organization is essentially locked into the era in which it was created. Organizations naturally lose momentum. Most Presidents accomplish far less in their second term, and shakeups at companies are sometimes the only thing that truly incite needed positive growth. Apple is a prime example. When Steve Jobs left Apple he gained perspective. It floundered without him, but when he return success was assured. Most leaders grow complacent or uninspired as time goes by, even without knowing it. Having a break is good.
THIS IS CRITICAL to KNOW:
The ability to evolve and adjust to changing times and circumstances decreases the longer that organization exists. The tendency to stay with what has worked works against innovation and growth. Two things that are critical to organizational health, development, and future success.
A planned shift in leadership energizes a group and creates opportunities for new vision. Studies, like this one, show that most organizations don’t have any legitimate succession plans, even at places where CEOs only last for 3-5 years.
Churches do the same sort of thing, but far worse. They don’t see that new leaders take over and move into position until a big problem or gap exists. Crisis mode determines succession in most cases. It’s regrettable.
If you knew that your leadership post, say in a church or in a community organization, would only last 2 years, would it make it easier to accept the position? Would you put in more devotion and energy knowing that you were installed for a set time? I know I would! Sometimes positions of leadership are simply filled by the closest warm body who’s willing to do it, not by the most talented person for the job.
Organizations often find it difficult to get dedicated leaders, but sometimes this is because commitments necessary for the job are vague or appear too long-term to be desirable. The most talented person passes on the offer to lead. But what if the norm was term limits? What if you could tell an upcoming leader, “You’re perfect for this job, and we need a full commitment for a year, and then we’ll let someone else have a turn.”?
Accountability Nothing improves performance more than when a person has boundaries and healthy oversight. It’s said that the Broadway Show Spiderman, which spent over $80 million and nine years in production, was a total flop because creative limits and other typical boundaries weren’t never in place. It failed to open six times. When it didn’t it was plagued with problems.
With free-reign productivity falters and needed decision aren’t made.
Boundaries on time, resources, and other parameters actually help, not hurt, projects and organizations. Creativity and resources focused on solving specific problems that limitations offer. Limitations create tangible possibilities. The result is innovation and progress. A limit on the parameters and length of power is very important too.
So, ask yourself….Where could you limit your power?
We’ve all heard that Leaders should keep learning, right?
But what should be the focus of this learning?
<cue suspenseful music>
In case you haven’t been here before, I’m a Contributor at the Deeper Leader SyncrhoBlog that runs September 10-14th.
You are invited to add your voice to the greater dialogue too. Go here to get details, get your spiffy Badge, and get started! I’ll be sure to check for your link and read your contribution.
So, what’s important for Leaders to learn?
When subordinates rated their company leaders, failure was found, quite a bit. But, their failures of leadership overwhelmingly stemmed from certain character qualities and interpersonal relationships rather than their technical skills needed to do their job well.
Their failures were actually personal failings.
Poor or inconsistent values and the inability to communicate and interact well with their co-workers were the biggest problems. By a long shot.
When leaders were considered failures personal failing were overwhelmingly the reasons why. This isn’t just true for only the corporate world, is it?
See, Technical training is fairly easy to do, and most companies may do that sort of training. Lots of place can educate you with book knowledge. But, training some one to be a better person from the inside out, well, that’s hard. It rarely happens formally, to be honest. But, obviously, according to the little black bar at the bottom there, this is the kind of education and transformation is a must for leaders to truly succeed.
Learning and revising our most core-level traits and behaviors moves into spiritual issues. Growth at a spiritual core-level is how transformational personal change can happen. But, there has to be a hefty “want to” from the learner. Time, money, and effort is needed, even if the learning isn’t formal. Too few meet the challenge; the media reports these failings daily. Authority figures are dropping like flies, people.
A company can’t force a person to take up this hard task, it comes from a internal commitment to do better, look at the negative stuff, make new habits, and do what ever hard work is necessary to improve. And when guidance and mentoring moves the learner beyond theory to applying the new lessons learned, personal or professional success is far more likely is the short and long terms.
One of the reasons I’m supporting this Synchroblog effort is because it pairs with a new program [A Master of Arts Degree in Christian Leadership] that focuses developing the spiritual formation of Leaders as well as important management skills. It’s education that will help improve all facets of one’s life and career.
The shortages of integrity in leadership don’t have to be the norm, and I don’t want it to be.
Sure, it’s harder than learning a new technique in organization or production, but it sets up the learning leader to succeed not just in her current position of leadership, but in all the aspects of her life now, and later when other challenges arise.
Maturity, integrity, and harmony with others is what makes a leader worth following.
When leaders fail it’s usually because they haven’t taken the time and done the hard internal and ongoing work to grow, mature, and be a better person. So, let’s do the hard the hard work, and encourage other to do the same.
That is what a Leader should continue to learn.
So, I’m now officially a Social Media Consultant. A Pro.
This blog has been about communication and creativity for a while now, and today I want to offer a few bits about using social media optimally.
If you have questions about communication or using social media for your new projects, leave them, and I’ll answer then in a future post.
1. Social Media is already over polluted by useless information and peacocking. So, Add VALUE.
2. Add Value by making real connections and conversations
4. Add Value by being other-focused. (Limit announcements of what you’ve just done like: “Had a great taco, now I’m going to an awesome show.”)
5. Ask what other people think adds value…
(this is were you come in….leave your thoughts…)
(This birdie card is an original creation: A Superb Snail Mail postcard I’m sending out to a savvy lover of mail.)
So now that there’s enough interest in Superb Snail Mail to keep me busy, I thought I’d post about the power of birdies.
Like a whisper Twitter started chirping and soon journalists learned to scour the twitter feeds for breaking news. One of the first big breaks was the tweeted death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Twitter bucked the wisdom of online gurus and what was already working on the interwebs. Twitter simplicity was so elemental that it felt restrictive. Quick tweets (remember “a little birdie told me”) were held to just 140 characters, even for direct messages. It had its critics and could be exasperating, but it worked.
It turns out news spreads well if the message is simple and widely dispersed.
Now, think about a message you’d like to disperse. How many little birdies will it take? Start here, and let us know what you’re working on.
Should we spread this message through Twitter? That would be cool. Click the twitter button.
Word of mouth is fine too. I don’t mind being old fashioned.
The thought crossed my mind that some people could see me naked Saturday, if there is The Rapture. So, really that’d be judgment Day for sure. I should have lost more weight.
It saddens me that some have sold all their things because of believing Harold Camping. I sort of wish he would get beamed out of here on Saturday, so he won’t ruin more lives. And I hope he’s wearing clean underpants.
Only certain kinds of leaders hope to control the mind of their followers. The ones who thrive on gaining power or influence. Creativity and imagination cannot be undermined when we lead. Notice how God is a leader who will not control our minds. God allows that we think freely, and use our personality to cooperate with his work and grace in this world. God is all good. God is ridiculously not power hungry. Bizarre to think about, yet so true.
The best leaders use the minds, gifts, and talents of those they lead for the greater good of all involved. The desire to power is nothing but a trap that leads to disaster. But, how do power hungry leaders control our minds?
Mind Control is a funny thing. Well, an odd thing. Certain people are more susceptible, but influence over one’s thoughts and actions happens when that power is handed over. The absent-minded or the feeble minded may be foolish and permissive with what they possess. Nevertheless, in every case I can think of, the reigns of one’s mind are relinquished, not taken.
Do you have a strong will and mind?
Not so fast! In a VERY common way, many of us let others control our mind too frequnetly. I promise you, your mind has been controlled. Consider this: We may dwell on anger, frustration, or bitterness as we allow others to control our moods, and therefore our heart and mind. We give their words and actions power–because we acquiesce our control. Some influence on the outside gains access over a part of us, inside. We allow it to be so. Hijack is a great word for this! The fruit of the spirit called self-control is developed to fend off this very thing.
Can we be self-controlled in a way that gives over a bit of control to a trustworthy person for the goal of greater good (in our lives and with those around us)? Certainly. AND We Must. Wisely.
Growth will not happen if we seek complete control. It’s a freeze ray, and will cut us off from life. Hyper-control=bad. How do we strike a balance?
And now for the biggest challenge you’ll have all week. Let me control your mind. I should explain: Put yourself in a place to receive spiritual guidance. Contact me with something spiritual, emotional, mental, or situational that you are struggling with, and I will pray about it and together we will see where God is, in all of it. We’ll communicate a bit, and see where growth can happen. We will relinquish the part of our control we have let arrest our growth. Yet, we will keep our self-control in that we will be wise with what we have in body and mind. Option B: Do this with a trusted friend, and let us in on your process.
Will you take my challenge?
What are your thoughts on leadership and mind control?
(Don’t miss future posts on leadership and mind control. Enter your email in the field in the left bar to be notified when something new is posted.)
Cuss / noun
1 an annoying or stubborn person or animal : he was certainly an unsociable cuss. 2 another term for curse (sense 2).
Disclaimer: I’m not using a moral arguement against cussing, though you might expect I would, at a site with spiritual flavor like this one. While, many may say it’s a sin to cuss, I think what may be the truest thing is that the intention of using the vulgarity that is the real issue at stake. Nevertheless, I won’t go in that direction. My contentions are not nearly so deep or heartfelt. This is simple practicality and common sense at work:
Simply put: I don’t think foul language is powerful enough. I finding it lacking. Any great use of the stuff tips me off that I’m in the company of communication amateurs.
In truth, I’m not very offended by expletives. The shock wore off in high school. And high school–childhood–is about the only time a certain amount of cussing is, sort of, understandable. By nature, kids don’t know how to express themselves very well. Salty language makes rookie humans feel older and more formidable. It gives them a sense of power, as they flex their ” ‘I’m growing up’ muscles”. Yet, it’s the running myth that if something is bleeped on tv, it resides in the realm of “grown-up language”, and signifies something more heady and legit. In fact, expletives are quite banal.
I cuss quite rarely, and when I do it’s actually because I’m having trouble expressing myself. In some foolish desperation I concede to inferior “describing words”. So, really, cussing takes away from our points, rather than aids them.
Just for the sake of developing better communication, we needn’t use them. Maybe you enjoy tossing around a swear here or there. I don’t really care. But here are 7 points to remember on this topic:
7 Cussing Tip Offs
1. Cussing quickly reveals one has a diminished vocabulary or the inability to use their vocabulary very well. (This can become a worsening habit also. Hence, it is sometimes combated with a Swear (fine) Bank.)
2. It displays a rather uncreative mind. (What could help? Simple: A thesaurus.)
3. If a cuss word can be used as an adjective, noun, and verb, it’s hackneyed, and by consequence, impotent. Let’s just say it’s, “lame” in a hobbling sense.
4. While cussing may somehow help one reveal emotions, or relieve stress, it doesn’t help one’s case. Quite the opposite. Logic is a better choice. Give it a try.
6. Cussing offends people for a myriad of reasons, but strangely enough, much use of it boils down to spotlighting simple bad manners and poor taste. Throughout history, “vulgar” language has some sort of reflection on social or economic status. [Ex: A mother says to her child who has been running around with the kids from "the other side of the tracks", "No, honey, we don't talk like that (or them)."] Most often people mentally associate foul language with an uncouth boorish social class, or uneducated and unrefined upbringing.
7. “Dirty words” are given meaning by a culture, not the other way around. What is the massively cussing person trying to prove, then? And why? [That's the bigger question.] Here, subtext trumps communication. so probably a #fail
What are your thoughts?
My favorite cuss quote:
“Are you cussing with me?” -Fantastic Mr. Fox
Most often, great thinkers, and great writers use words well. Natural talent helps, of course, but with concentration, anyone may hone his communication prowess in writing and speaking. It is a skill, just as much as it is an art.
Here’s 1 Idea that will IGNITE your writing:
When one pens accurate and powerful nouns and verbs, one’s writing operates on a new axis. An axis of Triumph!
(or at least improvement)
I hope this propels your writing. Let me know what you think…
I’d like to ask a question of you:
How often do you pray?
Please respond in the comments section.
(Click ‘leave a comment’ at the lower right after this post.)
Anonymous answering is possible, and acceptable, here.
I invited my friend Veron, the author of exploretruth.com, as a guest writer here. He’s not just a talented writer, he’s an insightful man who translates vital concepts we should take in and absorb.
Enjoy this honest, and helpful contribution about what he has done when prayer has become difficult. This type of prayer exercise can be done when it’s hard to be verbal, or just to freshen up your time alone with God. Give it a try. I’ve enjoyed the practice too.
Writing: An Act of Prayer?
They swarm like drunken bees. Disjointed and restless having lost their motivation and focus. With thoughtful pause I point the pen, the swarm now threatening to coalesce around a single thought, emotion, or heart felt longing; like the only drop of honey in a dry expanse of nothingness and silence.
Thoughts sometimes struggle to shine in our confused states of darkness. Of doubt. Like one candle in the dark, I’ve struggled to whisper into this darkness. And if you’re anything like me you have as well.
Some days go better for me than others, but mostly I’ve struggled to utter words to a God who at times I didn’t fully understand, and just reverted to mumbling variations of childhood prayers that allowed me the comfort of remaining on the surface, never plunging the depths of truth and genuine connection with God.
True prayer has always been hard for me. I’ve only now begun to see how revolutionary an act of faith really talking to God truly is. To be quite honest, as of late, I haven’t really been praying. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I’ve been suffering some guilt about this, and the fact that Ive recently begun writing is the only balm that has sustained me, and given me a possibly different perspective on the subject of prayer.
So what exactly is Prayer?
Wikipedia defines prayer as:
“The act of addressing a god or spirit for the purpose of worship or petition. Specific forms of this may include praise, requesting guidance or assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or an expression of one’s thoughts and emotions. The words used in prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation, words of gratitude, or a spontaneous utterance in the person’s praying words. Praying can be done in public, as a group, or in private”.
It appears that there can be more than one way to express thoughts and emotions. More than one means to reveal what burns in our hearts. And thats comforting. Like a million varying classifications of flowers raised heavenward to their life source, it seems to me, that we to can raise our voice, hands, or lives in whatever medium speaks, and opens our hearts to Divine wisdom.
So Why is Prayer so Hard for some?
In a world full of distractions and complexity, I’ve realized that focusing the mind and concretizing my thoughts can be difficult, far less for the thoughts I have towards God. Make no mistake, I possess the yearning to connect to the divine, and desire to experience more of a real connection. To wrestle with the unknowns in my life. But sometimes the faith feat of articulating and communicating my thoughts to a less than tangible concept of God can seem abstract, prove difficult, and sometimes feel pointless.
As of late, I have found that the act of writing my spiritual journey, to be a powerful act of reflection, contemplation, meditation, prayer, and maybe even praise. Grappling with the bedrock of human existence, the why’s of life, the unresolved questions I have, doubts, and fears, all can be given proper voice, in the visible form of the written word.
Our prayers, becoming statements of faith, and even of doubt. Lord, I believe, and please help my unbelief. All nakedly and honestly expressed on paper, where we can both remember from where we’ve come, where we are, and petition to participate in where we understand God to be going. It allows us to plot our stages of growth, bolstering and transforming theory into a real, tangible and experiential spiritual life.
“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. – Psalms 116:1”
Find what works for you!
Writing has allowed me to penetrate the facade that much of life’s distractions can cultivate. For you it may be another creative outlet. I was talking to my mother, who happened to just start a womans small group at her home. She was describing to me what she called a prayer basket. She creatively collects all the things that she needs in order to pray or spiritually connect with God. “I have my prayer journal in there, along with a pack of cookies”, she said, smiling. I imagine each basket will be as unique as the thumbprints of the ladies in her group. I think that if nature is any indication of Gods creativity, it leads me to appreciate the plethora of genuine expressions and communication styles from his children.
Thank you, Veron. Many more great things by Veron are here.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to see if you may need some kind of revision in your communication with God.
You may be praying like a consumerist if…
1. Your praying resembles window-shopping, or a trip to the superstore with a credit card.
2. If you imagine God a bit like a waiter, or butler in the sky.
3. If bargaining or haggling seeps into your communication to God.
4. If waiting for answers to your prayer requests is just as awful, or feels eerily similar, to waiting in a long checkout line.
5. If your prayers tend to be mainly focused on you, and your concerns, and often do not include worship, praise, gratitude, or…and this is a big one…listening (because communication doesn’t consist of just talking).
If you answered “yes” to 2 or more of these questions, consider revising how you view and engage in prayer, and communication with your God: Creator and Redeemer.
The Takeaway- Prayer is communication.
It changes us because through it we may become more like our God, if we yield to God and allow him to work in our hearts. When God is the primary focus of our prayer life, more growth is possible. And like I mentioned, this involves both speaking and listening to him.
(For a new way to engage in prayer using Scripture, and a focus on listening to God, do a search here for Lectio Divina.)
Thanks for reading!
Leave your responses. Was there ever a time when you prayed like a consumerist?