I’m writing the last paper for my class in Leadership and Administration. I’m concentrating on Transformational Leadership Theory.
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.)
 Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations by Bernard M. Bass (1985)
The Book that started it all:
Updated and expanded in 2005
I’m reading Leonard Sweet’s book “I am a Follower”.
It turns leadership on its head, which feels a bit ironical to have it as a textbook this 9 weeks in my Master of Arts in Christian Leadership course. But, then again, I didn’t expect to learn leadership ordinarily. We’re working from the ground up here. We aren’t learning to be bosses, we’re learning to be like Jesus, and influence others in the fashion of God’s Kingdom, not man’s (courtesy of the Sermon on the Mount, I might add)
It’s a challenging message for us.
Here are some noteworthy bits I’ve gleaned:
1. Jesus wasn’t looking for leaders…he was looking for followers. Instead of worrying about finding and keeping followers, we follow him.
2. The seduction to apply a secular business model has infected churches but has been a remarkable failure. Spiritual depth doesn’t come from this model. (Willow Creek’s self-assessment is an honest but damning example.)
3. God’s strength is made perfect in human weakness, and this will be illogical in a worldly model. God’s power is how we do well.
4. God will prune us, for our own good, so we may be more fruitful and glorify him more.
5. Strategy and planning common in many church models today can superseded the focus on the work of the Holy Spirit.
6. There is a going myth the technology and innovation are answers to our leadership and church problems.
7. God calls us to do something bigger than ourselves.
8. The Church’s obsession with leadership reflects our cultures values which usually center in ego and self-interest.
I will follow up with more from this intriguing and entertaining book. The man does not shy away from plays on word.
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RAILROAD OPEN HOUSE:
JUSTICE + LOVE
Nathan turned 13th on March 8th. The day he was born it was 70 degrees F. The next year it snowed 8 inches. Parenting him has been just as unpredictable. And now we have full-fledged puberty!
Puberty is a hard time for everyone….but for a young man with autism and the family that loves him…it’s harder than “normal”. He’s at once his age (noticing bikini-clad women in commercials, playing video games, growing 6 inches in 18 months, getting acne, fighting with sister, and the rest) and also seems much younger in many ways and can’t grasp things many of his peers do. The phrase “one day at a time” is turning into a mantra I say for sanity.
For a special birthday celebration we opened our house as a kind of Model Railroading, lego display tour with snacks and goodies. We invited loads of people. Grace abounded.
As I’ve reflected further about that day, I sense the presence of God. Those from our church family made special efforts to come. He was lavished with good will, generosity, and affirmation about himself, just as he was. Not a bad day, I’d say!
Here are some photos of the day. (Sorry to say we didn’t get any good video clips.)
Would you like to help Nathan add to his layout?
If so, you can donate to his train layout by clicking here.
(If you’ve donated–Thank you for contributing to Nathan’s passion! We will update photos of his railroad purchases from your generosity in the near future.)
What summer project has your muse? (I’ll let you know about my super secret project later this season) Leave me a voice message and let me know what you’re up to. I may feature it in an upcoming post, if you’d like.
Need to get unstuck or find inspiration?
6 spots are left for a 30 min FREE Creativity Consultation. No strings, just a boost because I like to help people get unstuck! I have ways to spark your muse. You won’t be sorry. Contact me and we’ll set something up.
The FIRST Sparky Guide is now on AMAZON (here).
In this concise digital book I share how I began remembering, controlling, and even waking up within my dreams (lucid dreams).
The techniques require some diligence, but anyone can learn how to do it–sometimes in just a few days or weeks. Even if you don’t think you dream at all!
The world of dreams holds incredible reservoir for untapped creativity, problem solving, and healing. It’s like realizing there’s black gold in the backyard, and you just haven’t drilled for it yet.
Controlling or become conscious in your dreams supercharges your creativity, helps you problem solve current conundrums. It upgrades your concentration, relieves anxiety (including liberation from nightmares or unpleasant reoccurring dreams), offers empowerment that translates into waking life, and allows you to experience things that would otherwise be impossible or unlikely by leveraging the dreaming world.
I admit, flying is my favorite activity when I lucid dream. It’s hyper realistic and utterly exhilarating.
I’m so excited to share this with you, and I can’t wait to hear how it helps you!
(Check back frequently on this site’s most fluid Main Page for the latest articles.)
Check the blog for regular installments on…
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Join the Sparky Club for enthusing (infrequent) communiqués.
More stuff SOON!
As I move toward a more formed definition of how gender issues can be transcended in the Kingdom of God, I’m hitting some
roadblocks obstacles. Very expectedly, too.
This “Capacitarian” proposal, if you will indulge this term, is not all cut and dry…like so many abstract things, that must come to fruition by enactment. I continue to solicit your thoughts, and input. No, I won’t give the pretense of having a fully-formed argument. “In-process” is the operative word for this excursion. Yet, I bother to bring it up, in the first place, because I see some glaring shortcomings in our current models.
If you see some, too. I hope you’ll mention them.
(And yes, I made up the word for this proposal: ”Capacitarian” Pronounced: <CAP-pass-it-Tarry-ann>)
Why does the term “egalitarian” fail us?
A few have (rightly, I might add) asked, something like, “If you want men and women to be treated and appreciated with equal worth, why don’t you just say, or use the term “egalitarian”?”
Here are a few reasons:
• Egalitarianism (proper) is too closely associated with politics and economic interests. It always has been. This has a consequential, and incongruent for our purposes, legal component, too. It is an interference, not a boon, to Kingdom life and the enactment of the gospel.
• Egalitarianism, as in “Christian Egalitarianism”, is most often understood as “the idea that men and women can and should function as equals in the church,” even if (or though) the true meaning is broader. The word means something beyond gender, like, rich and poor should function as equals…able-bodied and disabled…you get the idea. The prevailing connotation has undermined the term, making it less helpful. Simply put: “Egalitarianism,” the term, is not accurate enough. It shortchanges the bigger idea of what God is up to.
• God’s economy never really jives with our own. The actual working out of egalitarianism proves this, as well. It’s not enough to say, “We’re equal, let’s act that way.” Remember something called the Jim Crow laws from 9th grade history class? (Or, even better, maybe you recall them from experience. Separate but equal is ruse, whether intentionally or not.)
The difference is that a worldview change is in order, not just a mode or method of equalizing the parties involved.
• So, I propose we let go of using human economic terms which will move the conversation forward.
Likewise, if we use words for this issue that connote or speak in terms of power, (be it: social, political, gender, economic, racial, etc) we commence at the same starting point as we’ve had before. A secular starting point.
• This faulty starting point inherently undercuts the ironically nonpolitical (apolitical) quality of Kingdom life. My idea is to get away from human-centric thinking, not co-opt with it. There is a reversal of power in God’s economy, but not an antithetical reversal. So, we’re speaking of a whole new model where one cannot simply speak of things in reverse to properly apprehend it, or put it to rights.
• Equal opportunity of the members in the Body isn’t determined primarily by sentiments that “We are all of equal worth in the eyes of God.” True as this is, it is better sourced in the nature of God as person (a.k.a. “personhood”) *See note below. God’s Story is the starting point.
• It is in the very nature of God to forgo favoritism based on things humans would see as advantageous. We may give equal opportunity because we think that it is right or just. But this worldview is not about righting wrongs, or getting it right as (humanly speaking) its fundamental application point. Rather, it’s a new way of seeing and living in this world…Kingdom Come. [Theo-centric worldview]
So, moving forward we adopt that characteristic of God for our ways of relating too. Well, more than adopt. We absorb, and live and breath it. (It is the basis of our relating.)
• It is in the overarching plans of God (as seen in the whole of Scripture) that each one of us is “set free”. We reach our full potential as this occurs. We transcend, not just overcome our cultural bondage, et.al.. (See this Lukian passage, and the prophet Isaiah)
• Thus, restrictions based on finite qualities (nationality, gender, physical ability, financial prosperity, etc.) have nothing to do with God’s nature, and his vantage point. All those restrictions are eschewed. Being “set free” is the telos of creation.
• Harmonious/loving relationship, not (primarily) equality, is main aim of children of God…Kingdom citizens, in this proposal.
Paul advises this, speaking often of and encouraging unity in the Body.
Tri-unity (Trinity) is the essence of God. God: Communion and Love reciprocated ad infinitum.
• Hierarchy, then, for our purposes, is a non issue (off the table), in any typical way we would be able to apprehend it, from a human understanding or from our experience. So, I contend that we cannot do well to draw on our flawed applications of so-called hierarchy if we are to move forward on this issue.
One more consideration on the particulars:
I propose that the idea of “the last will be first” is not a speaking of reversal of fortune, or class/status, but a full dismantling of human interaction, economy, epistemology, and eschatology as we have known it. That is to say: we don’t have a good way to gauge who is last or first, as we normally perceive life. I should also say that this means we will be very surprised who may or may not be “first”…whatever that means to God. It will likely mean something different to God, in itself, than to our understanding. God is speaking in terms, and will actualize terms in God’s way. It won’t look like what we imagine it will. I’m not sure his ways ever really have. The whole manner of the Messiah thing/Incarnation came as quite a shock, for instance.
What Capacitarian cannot be:
With regard to studying the marginalized, and in particular the disabled, it is critical to note that “capacity” in human intellectual, ability, or physical terms is not the pivot point for Capacitarian thinking. The capacity denoted has to do with the Holy Spirit giving us capacity for his good work. And, “work” he what God determines it is…which may just be lying there, vegetative, and soaking in Divine love.
A case in point: A severely mentally disabled child is given great grace and capacity by God. A simple, pure, and powerful faith and enjoyment of God which may not be attained by her “normal” peers or her church family in the same capacity. She may revel in worship music, with her whole soul (being); given capacity to be aware of and experience God’s holy love in that very moment.
Likewise, others historically on the margins of society may be afforded capacity in gifting, and understanding, and the Body of Christ utilizes each one in their unique way. (This may not appear to be equal in application, or role, but it is not gender-based either.)
• Suffering, or experiencing trials, it seems increases the opportunities for said capacity. (See James 1)
Each member of the body is given full honor. Each has a gift to give to the Body.
To be continued, next week!
Your thoughts are welcome during this process. Leave your comments.
* Note that person and personality is not exclusive to humanity (human persons), but rather refers to a being, individuality, or creatureliness, plus relational capacity. A being is a person, even a divine being is, in the case that this being is accessible (imminent). Basic Theology asserts God is both transcendent and imminent. God is a Person, Three-in-one.