(This article is also cross-posted at http://learnings.leadnet.org)
I have fielded a few calls in the past few months from press asking about changing Leadership Practices. What I have replied is that I believe we are in the era of Strong Relational Leadership.
This has been true in the past as well but even more so today. Leadership is not determined by position or even personal charisma as much as being to truly identify and relate to followers.
Fortunately for me, the latest edition of Scientific American MIND (August/September 2007) reports on a study that says it much better than I could ever hope to say it.
Here are the three relevant findings:
A new psychology of leadership suggests that effective leaders must understand
the values and opinions of their followers – rather than assuming absolute
authority – to enable a productive dialogue with team members about what the
group stands for and thus how it should act.
2. According to this new approach, no fixed set of personality traits can assure good leadership because the most desirable traits depend on the nature of the group being led.
3. Leaders who adopt this strategy must try not only to fit in with their group but also to shape the group’s identity in a way that makes their own agenda and policies appear to be an expression of that identity.”
comments – We have known that trait theory has been dead. (All leaders must have
these traits) But the substitutes have been found wanting.
For newly emerging megachurches, the theory helps explain how one leader can build a church very quickly in one setting and culture and the same person bomb elsewhere.
I have contended elsewhere, fast growth megachurches have leaders that give
voice to many of the aspirations of their followers and at the same time call
those followers to something more and better.
At the same time, the new leaders know intuitively the micro culture and values of their own setting and use those intuitions to guide their congregations to reach more people within that same micro culture.
is why a Chicago model doesn’t work so well in the bayou. And vice-versa for that matter.
And vice-versa for that matter.
I will have more to share in the future on this topic.
can read the whole article here on line.