Being Transformational: Context is the Key

Posted on 18. Dec, 2008 by in Uncategorized

I was with an client the other day. We were talking about the marketing and public relation needs that pertains to several important initiatives for our children. I realized that our client saw the problem in the context of their organization without seeing how it relates to other groups in our society — businesses, families, and non-profit organizations.

We just elected a transformational person as our next president who we are putting our trust, hopes, fears, and our success in. These are big shoes to fill. Most people and organizations function as if there is little relationship to other forces affecting them. The idea of me first will not work anymore. We need or need to be transforming leaders.

James MacGregor Burns (1978) first introduced the concepts of transformational and transactional leadership. According to Burns, “the difference between transformational and transactional leadership is what leaders and followers offer one another. Transforming leadership… occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality. Their purposes, which might have started out as separate but related, as in the case of transactional leadership, become fused. Power bases are linked not as counterweights but as mutual support for common purpose. Transformational leaders offer a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order intrinsic needs. This results in followers identifying with the needs of the leader. The four dimensions of transformational leadership are idealized influence (or charisma), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration.”

We need to connect the dots and linkages that solve common problems. What we teach our kids has a direct bearing of my retirement, your employment, our economy.

Our client had a aha moment and will look beyond their need to promote the benefit of many. There is no splendid isolation anymore.

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