Saturday, July 12, 2008

Transformational: What Is It Really?

Elsewhere on this blog, I suggest a definition of transformational Christian leadership. This might, however, give a different impression to what it really is. Each of the quotes which follows is drawn from a stock of many more: Transformational Christian leadership holds that leadership is personal influence. This influence is based on character (in the sense of “integrity”, but also “persistence”): “Character is foundational if a leader is to influence people ...” (Clinton J R 1988:74). The purpose of such influence if to fulfil a vision: “If you want to become a leader, vision is not an option [i.e. it is mandatory]” (Barna G 1997:47). Such vision tends to be what defines a Christian leader’s calling, and it needs to be seen through. This, however, tends to place an extraordinary burden on the Christian leader: “Perhaps the greatest trial for the transforming Christian leader is in challenging the status quo ... [i.e. is in] values and visions” (Wofford J C 1999:85,86). In the literature, there is a marked de-emphasis of the Triune God in exegetical passages, and of faith in the sense of the human response to God. This would seem to fit with transformational Christian leadership’s emphasis on personal influence. QUESTION: Assuming you are familiar with this leadership paradigm, how might the above be modified or enlarged? The picture (from Senge P M 1990:151) illustrates the “vision tension” particularly well.

NOTE: “Transformational” may have a very different meaning in Southern Africa. What is referred to here is a popular Global North leadership paradigm.

No comments: