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Transformational leadership


Leadership grid & managerial grid

42.1 Leadership

Leadership is a process of getting things done through people. The quarterback moves the team toward a

touchdown. The senior patrol leader guides the troop to a high rating at the camporee. The mayor gets

the people to support new policies to make the city better. These leaders are getting things done by

working through people -- football players, Scouts, and ordinary citizens. They have used the process of

leadership to reach certain goals.

Leadership is not a science. So being a leader is an adventure because you can never be sure whether

you will reach your goal -- at least this time. The touchdown drive may end in a fumble. The troop may

have a bad weekend during the camporee. Or the city's citizens may not be convinced that the mayor's

policies are right. So these leaders have to try again, using other methods. But they still use the same

process the process of good leadership.

Leadership means responsibility. It's adventure and often fun, but it always means responsibility. The

leader is the guy the others look to to get the job done. So don't think your job as a troop leader or a staff

member will be just an honor. It's more than that. It means that the other Scouts expect you to take the

responsibility of getting the job done. If you lead, they will do the job. If you don't, they may expect you

to do the job all by yourself.

That's why it's important that you begin right now to learn what leadership is all about.

Wear your badge of office proudly. It does not automatically make you a good leader. But it identifies

you as a Scout who others want to follow -- if you'll let them by showing leadership.

You are not a finished leader. No one ever is, not even a president or prime minister. But you are an

explorer of the human mind because now you are going to try to learn how to get things done through

people. This is one of the keys to leadership.

You are searching for the secrets of leadership. Many of them lie locked inside you. As you discover

them and practice them, you will join a special group of people-skilled leaders.

Good exploring -- both in this handbook and with the groups you will have a chance to lead.

The Tasks of Leadership

In this section, we will consider several common statements about the people who serve in leadership

positions throughout our world. After you have read the statement, decide for yourself whether you feel

it is true or false and why you think it is.

Here is the first one. True or false?

The only people who lead have some kind of leadership job, such as chairman, coach, or king.

Do you think that's true? Don't you believe it. It's true that chairmen, coaches, and kings lead, but people

who hold no leadership position also lead. And you can find some people who have a leader's title and

ought to lead. But they don't.


In other words, you are not a leader because you wear the leader's hat or because you wear the patrol

leader's insignia on your uniform. You are a leader only when you are getting things done through other


Leadership, then, is something people do. Some people inherit leadership positions, such as kings, or

nobles, or heads of family businesses. Some are elected: chairman, governor, patrol leader. Some are

appointed, such as a coach, a city manager, or a den chief. Or they may just happen to be there when a

situation arises that demands leadership. A disaster occurs, or a teacher doesn't show up when class

begins, or a patrol leader becomes sick on a campout.

Try this statement. Is it true or false?

Leadership is a gift. If you are born with it, you can lead. If you are not, you can't.

Some people will tell you that. Some really believe it. But it's not so.

Leadership does take skill. Not everyone can learn all the skills of leadership as well as anyone else. But

most people can learn some of them -- and thus develop their own potential.

You don't have to be born with leadership. Chances are, you weren't. But you were born with a brain. If

you can learn to swim or play checkers or do math, you can learn leadership skills.

How about this statement. True or false?

"Leader" is another word for "boss."

Well, what do you mean by "boss"? A guy who pushes and orders other people around? No, a leader is

not one of those. (But some people try to lead this way.)

Or do you mean a boss is somebody who has a job to do and works with other people to get it done?

This is true. A leader is a boss in that sense.

True or false?

Being a leader in a Scout troop is like being a leader anywhere else.

This one is true. When you lead in a Scout troop, you will do many of the same things as any leader


The important thing now is Scouting gives you a chance to lead. You can learn how to lead in Scouting.

You can practice leadership in Scouting. Then you can lead other groups, too. The skills you will need

are very much the same.

What does a leader deal with?

Every leader deals with just two things. Here they are: the job and the group.

The job is what's to be done. The "job" doesn't necessarily mean work. It could be playing a game. It

could be building a skyscraper. It could be getting across an idea.

A leader is needed to get the job done. If there were no job, there would be no need for a leader.

The group, such as a patrol, is the people who do the job. And in many cases, the group continues after

the job is done. This is where leading gets tough, as you'll see later.

Think about this situation. Mark has a lot of firewood to split. There he is, all alone with his ax. He's got

a job to do. Is he a leader?

We have to say in this situation that Mark won't be leading. Why? No group. There's nobody on the job

but Mark.

Here's another example. Danny and three of his friends are on their bikes. They have no place to go.

They're just riding slowly, seeing how close they can get to each other.

Is Danny -- or any one of the others -- a leader?


From what we know, we have to say no. Why? No job. There's a group of friends, but nothing special to

be done. You don't need a leader for that. (You don't need a group, either.)

The Job of a Leader

A leader works with two things: a job and a group. You can always tell when a leader succeeds,


1. The job gets done.

2. The group holds together.

Let's see why it takes both.

Frank was elected patrol leader. That same week, the patrol had a job cleaning up an old cemetery.

It was Frank's first leadership position, and he wanted it to go right. In his daydream he could see the

Scoutmaster praising him for the great cleanup job. So, when Saturday morning came, Frank and the

patrol went over to the cemetery, and Frank started to get the job done.

He hollered. He yelled. He threatened. He called them names. He worked like a tiger himself. It was a

rough day, but the cemetery got cleaned up.

Frank went home sort of proud, sort of mad, and very tired.

"How'd things go, Frank?" the Scoutmaster asked a few days later.


"No problems?"

"No." Frank wondered what he meant by that.

"Oh! Well, a couple of the boys in your patrol asked me if they could change to another patrol. I thought

maybe something had gone wrong...."

And that was how Frank learned that getting the job done isn't all there is to leadership. He had really

given the group a hard time, and now they wanted to break up.

Almost anybody with a whip and a mean temper can get a job done. But in doing it, they usually destroy

the group. And that's not leadership. The group must go on.

Another new patrol leader called a meeting at his house. Everybody seemed to be hungry when they

came. So they got some snacks from the kitchen. Then they tossed a football around. It began to get

dark, and one by one they went home. Everybody had fun. But the patrol meeting -- the job -- never


One of the following statements is the message of this section. Which one?

a. Nice guys finish last.

b. Mean guys finish last.

c. Leaders get the job done and keep the group going.

d. Leaders have a special title or badge that makes others like to follow.

We'll take the third one. Will you?

What affects leadership?

Leadership is not magic that comes out of a leader's head. It's skill. The leader learns how to get the job

done and still keep the group together.

Does this mean that the leader does the same things in every situation? No. Here's why.

Leadership differs with the leader, the group, and the situation.

Leaders -- like other people are all different. No leader can take over another leader's job and do it the

same way.

Groups are different, too. A great football coach might have difficulty leading an orchestra. A good

sergeant might be a poor Scoutmaster. So when a leader changes groups, he changes the way he leads.


Situations differ, too. The same leader with the same group must change with conditions. A fellow

leading a group discussion needs to change his style of leadership when a fire breaks out. As a Scout

leader, you probably can't lead the group in the rain the same as you do in the sunshine.

An effective leader, then, must be alert at all times to the reaction of the members of the group; the

conditions in which he may find himself; and be aware of his own abilities and reactions.

Leadership Develops

Picture a long scale like a yardstick. On the low end, there are no leadership skills. On the other end,

there is a complete set of leadership skills.

Everyone is somewhere between those ends!

Where do you find yourself at this time? Unknowingly, you may be further up the scale than you

realize. As a staff member you'll now have the opportunity to find out.

Ten Characteristics of a Leader

After some years of carefully considering Greenleaf's original writings, I have identified a set of ten

characteristics of the leader that I view as being of critical importance--central to the development of

leaders. My own work currently involves a deepening understanding of the following characteristics

and how they contribute to the meaningful practice of leadership. These ten characteristics include:

Listening: Leaders have traditionally been valued for their communication and decisionmaking skills.

Although these are also important skills for the leader, they need to be reinforced by a deep commitment

to listening intently to others. The leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps to clarify that

will. He or she listens receptively to what is being said and unsaid. Listening also encompasses getting

in touch with one's own inner voice. Listening, coupled with periods of reflection, are essential to the

growth and well-being of the leader.

Empathy: The leader strives to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and

recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and

colleagues and does not reject them as people, even when one may be forced to refuse to accept certain

behaviors or performance. The most successful leaders are those who have become skilled empathetic


Healing: The healing of relationships is a powerful force for transformation and integration. One of the

great strengths of leadership is the potential for healing one's self and one's relationship to others. Many

people have broken spirits and have suffered from a variety of emotional hurts. Although this is a part

of being human, leaders recognize that they have an opportunity to help make whole those with whom

they come in contact. In his essay, The Servant as Leader, Greenleaf writes, "There is something subtle

communicated to one who is being served and led if, implicit in the compact between leader and led, is

the understanding that the search for wholeness is something they share."

Awareness: General awareness, and especially self-awareness, strengthens the leader. Awareness

helps one in understanding issues involving ethics, power and values. It lends itself to being able to

view most situations from a more integrated, holistic position. As Greenleaf observed: "Awareness is

not a giver of solace--it is just the opposite. It is a disturber and an awakener. Able leaders are usually

sharply awake and reasonably disturbed. They are not seekers after solace. They have their own inner


Persuasion: Another characteristic of leaders is a reliance on persuasion, rather than on one's positional

authority, in making decisions within an organization. The leader seeks to convince others, rather than

coerce compliance. This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the

traditional authoritarian model and that of leadership. The leader is effective at building consensus

within groups. This emphasis on persuasion over coercion finds its roots in the beliefs of the Religious

Society of Friends (Quakers)--the denominational body to which Robert Greenleaf belonged.


Conceptualization: Leaders seek to nurture their abilities to dream great dreams. The ability to look

at a problem or an organization from a conceptualizing perspective means that one must think beyond

day-to-day realities. For many leaders, this is a characteristic that requires discipline and practice. The

traditional leader is consumed by the need to achieve short-term operational goals. The leader who

wishes to also be a leader must stretch his or her thinking to encompass broader-based conceptual

thinking. Within organizations, conceptualization is, by its very nature, the proper role of boards of

trustees or directors. Unfortunately, boards can sometimes become involved in the day-to-day

operations--something that should always be discouraged--and, thus, fail to provide the visionary

concept for an institution. Trustees need to be mostly conceptual in their orientation, staffs need to be

mostly operational in their perspective, and the most effective executive leaders probably need to

develop both perspectives within themselves. Leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between

conceptual thinking and a day-to-day operational approach.

Foresight: Closely related to conceptualization, the ability to foresee the likely outcome of a situation

is hard to define, but easier to identify. One knows foresight when one experiences it. Foresight is a

characteristic that enables the leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present,

and the likely consequence of a decision for the future. It is also deeply rooted within the intuitive

mind. Foresight remains a largely unexplored area in leadership studies, but one most deserving of

careful attention.

Stewardship: Peter Block (author of Stewardship and The Empowered Manager) has defined

stewardship as "holding something in trust for another." Robert Greenleaf's view of all institutions was

one in which CEO's, staffs, and trustees all played significant roles in holding their institutions in trust

for the greater good of society. Leadership, like stewardship, assumes first and foremost a commitment

to serving the needs of others. It also emphasizes the use of openness and persuasion, rather than


Commitment to the growth of people: Leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond

their tangible contributions as workers. As such, the leader is deeply committed to the growth of each

and every individual within his or her organization. The leader recognizes the tremendous

responsibility to do everything in his or her power to nurture the personal and professional growth of

employees and colleagues. In practice, this can include (but is not limited to) concrete actions such as

making funds available for personal and professional development, taking a personal interest in the

ideas and suggestions from everyone, encouraging worker involvement in decisionmaking, and actively

assisting laid-off employees to find other positions.

Building community: The leader senses that much has been lost in recent human history as a result of

the shift from local communities to large institutions as the primary shaper of human lives. This

awareness causes the leader to seek to identify some means for building community among those who

work within a given institution. Leadership suggests that true community can be created among those

who work in businesses and other institutions. Greenleaf said, "All that is needed to rebuild community

as a viable life form for large numbers of people is for enough leaders to show the way, not by mass

movements, but by each leader demonstrating his or her unlimited liability for a quite specific

community-related group."

These ten characteristics of leadership are by no means exhaustive. However, they do serve to

communicate the power and promise that this concept offers to those who are open to its invitation and


Interest in the meaning and practice of leadership continues to grow. Hundreds of books, articles, and

papers on the subject have now been published. Many of the companies named to Fortune magazine's

annual listing of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" espouse leadership and have integrated it into

their corporate cultures. As more and more organizations and people have sought to put leadership into


practice, the work of The Greenleaf Center for Leadership, now in its 36th year, continues to expand in

order to help meet that need.

Leadership characteristics often occur naturally within many individuals; and, like many natural

tendencies, they can be enhanced through learning and practice. Leadership offers great hope for the

future in creating better, more caring, institutions.

Leadership vs. Management

What is the difference between management and leadership? It is a question that has been asked more

than once and also answered in different ways. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is

the way they motivate the people who work or follow them, and this sets the tone for most other aspects

of what they do.

Many people, by the way, are both. They have management jobs, but they realize that you cannot buy

hearts, especially to follow them down a difficult path, and so act as leaders too.

Managers have subordinates

By definition, managers have subordinates - unless their title is honorary and given as a mark of

seniority, in which case the title is a misnomer and their power over others is other than formal


Authoritarian, transactional style

Managers have a position of authority vested in them by the company, and their subordinates work for

them and largely do as they are told. Management style is transactional, in that the manager tells the

subordinate what to do, and the subordinate does this not because they are a blind robot, but because

they have been promised a reward (at minimum their salary) for doing so.

Work focus

Managers are paid to get things done (they are subordinates too), often within tight constraints of time

and money. They thus naturally pass on this work focus to their subordinates.

Seek comfort

An interesting research finding about managers is that they tend to come from stable home backgrounds

and led relatively normal and comfortable lives. This leads them to be relatively risk-averse and they

will seek to avoid conflict where possible. In terms of people, they generally like to run a 'happy ship'.

Leaders have followers

Leaders do not have subordinates - at least not when they are leading. Many organizational leaders do

have subordinates, but only because they are also managers. But when they want to lead, they have to

give up formal authoritarian control, because to lead is to have followers, and following is always a

voluntary activity.

Charismatic, transformational style

Telling people what to do does not inspire them to follow you. You have to appeal to them, showing

how following them will lead to their hearts' desire. They must want to follow you enough to stop what

they are doing and perhaps walk into danger and situations that they would not normally consider



Leaders with a stronger charisma find it easier to attract people to their cause. As a part of their

persuasion they typically promise transformational benefits, such that their followers will not just

receive extrinsic rewards but will somehow become better people.

People focus

Although many leaders have a charismatic style to some extent, this does not require a loud personality.

They are always good with people, and quiet styles that give credit to others (and takes blame on

themselves) are very effective at creating the loyalty that great leaders engender.

Although leaders are good with people, this does not mean they are friendly with them. In order to keep

the mystique of leadership, they often retain a degree of separation and aloofness.

This does not mean that leaders do not pay attention to tasks - in fact they are often very achievementfocused.

What they do realize, however, is the importance of enthusing others to work towards their


Seek risk

In the same study that showed managers as risk-averse, leaders appeared as risk-seeking, although they

are not blind thrill-seekers. When pursuing their vision, they consider it natural to encounter problems

and hurdles that must be overcome along the way. They are thus comfortable with risk and will see

routes that others avoid as potential opportunities for advantage and will happily break rules in order to

get things done.

A surprising number of these leaders had some form of handicap in their lives which they had to

overcome. Some had traumatic childhoods, some had problems such as dyslexia, others were shorter

than average. This perhaps taught them the independence of mind that is needed to go out on a limb and

not worry about what others are thinking about you

Manager versus Leader

Both a manager and a leader may know the business well. But the leader must know it better and in a

different way. S/he must grasp the essential facts and the underlying forces that determine the past and

present trends in the business, so that s/he can generate a vision and a strategy to bring about its future.

One telling sign of a good leader is an honest attitude towards the facts, towards objective truth. A

subjective leader obscures the facts for the sake of narrow self-interest, partisan interest or prejudice.

Effective leaders continually ask questions, probing all levels of the organization for information,

testing their own perceptions, and rechecking the facts. They talk to their constituents. They want to

know what is working and what is not. They keep an open mind for serendipity to bring them the

knowledge they need to know what is true. An important source of information for this sort of leader is

knowledge of the failures and mistakes that are being made in their organization.

To survive in the twenty-first century, we are going to need a new generation of leaders — leaders, not

managers. The distinction is an important one. Leaders conquer the context — the turbulent, ambiguous

surroundings that sometimes seem to conspire against us and will surely suffocate us if we let them —

while managers surrender to it.

Leaders investigate reality, taking in the pertinent factors and analyzing them carefully. On this basis

they produce visions, concepts, plans, and programs. Managers adopt the truth from others and

implement it without probing for the facts that reveal reality.

There is profound difference — a chasm — between leaders and managers. A good manager does

things right. A leader does the right things. Doing the right things implies a goal, a direction, an

objective, a vision, a dream, a path, a reach.

Lots of people spend their lives climbing a ladder — and then they get to the top of the wrong wall.

Most losing organizations are over-managed and under-led. Their managers accomplish the wrong

things beautifully and efficiently. They climb the wrong wall.

Managing is about efficiency. Leading is about effectiveness. Managing is about how. Leading is about

what and why. Management is about systems, controls, procedures, policies, and structure. Leadership

is about trust — about people.


Leadership is about innovating and initiating. Management is about copying, about managing the status

quo. Leadership is creative, adaptive, and agile. Leadership looks at the horizon, not just the bottom


Leaders base their vision, their appeal to others, and their integrity on reality, on the facts, on a careful

estimate of the forces at play, and on the trends and contradictions. They develop the means for

changing the original balance of forces so that their vision can be realized.

A leader is someone who has the capacity to create a compelling vision that takes people to a new place,

and to translate that vision into action. Leaders draw other people to them by enrolling them in their

vision. What leaders do is inspire people, empower them.

They pull rather than push. This "pull" style of leadership attracts and energizes people to enroll in a

vision of the future. It motivates people by helping them identify with the task and the goal rather than

by rewarding or punishing them.

There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important "To

manage" means "to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct."

"Leading" is "influencing, guiding in direction, course, action, opinion." The distinction is crucial.

Management is…. Leadership is....

Coping with complexity Coping with and promoting change

Planning and Budgeting Setting a Direction

Organizing and Staffing Aligning People

Controlling and Problem Solving Motivating and Inspiring People

Effective Action Meaningful Action

Both are necessary and important.

Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. The difference

may be summarized as activities of vision and judgment — effectiveness —versus activities of

mastering routines — efficiency. The chart below indicates key words that further make the distinction

between the two functions:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his or her eye on the horizon.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

The most dramatic differences between leaders and managers are found at the extremes: poor leaders

are despots, while poor managers are bureaucrats in the worst sense of the word. Whilst leadership is a

human process and management is a process of resource allocation, both have their place and managers

must also perform as leaders. All first-class managers turn out to have quite a lot of leadership ability.

Top Ten Characteristics of a Great Manager


1. Time Management

Supervisory positions can be very stressful and overwhelming when specific deadlines need to be met.

Leaders need to be able to handle tasks and assignments in a timely manner. Time is similar to finances

and both need to be budgeted wisely.

2. Communication Skills

Communication is fundamental in any aspect of life, especially for management teams and among

employee relations. Supervisors need to be capable of communicating clearly with fellow managers,

employees, other businesses, and customers. Confidence and personality plays a major role in a

manager's ability to communicate. Managers should be experienced with speaking both to groups and


3. Conflict Resolution

Conflict occurs just about everyday in personal and career based environments. Managers need to be

able to listen, identify an issue, agree on the issue, discuss solutions, agree on the solution, and follow

up. Conflict between employees may cause awkward tension within the office which can result in

slacking or bitterness. Employees should feel comfortable approaching managers regarding conflict and

confident that a resolution will be found. Managers will also need to be able to resolve conflict with

customers when the time arises. Often clients will become frustrated if something goes wrong and

managers need to be able to handle the situation appropriately. It's also important for a follow up check

to ensure there are no further problems.

4. Personal Traits

The business industry expects a lot from managers and personality traits are a major aspect. Managers

need to be creative, adaptable, charismatic, understanding, confident, mentally stable, tolerate stress

well, great listener, and willingness to learn. Management positions are not easy to fill because of all the

key qualities necessary and not everyone will possess all of them. I firmly believe certain personality

traits are one of the most important aspects required to run a successful organization.

5. Experience

Let's face it, not every manager has previous supervisory experience. Generally each manager wasn't

immediately promoted to their position and had to climb their way up the totem pole. Many companies

overlook potential managers because they don't have previous leadership experience. Experience should

be based off their knowledge of their job title, how many years they have worked in their field, and

performance appraisals. Experience is something every employer looks at regardless of what position

and it's important for people to realize sometimes they have to start lower than expected in order to earn

their position.

6. Goal Setting

Goal setting goes hand-in-hand with time management. Managers need to manage their time wisely and

focus on specific goals. Managers also need to be able to assign certain tasks to employees by giving

them a goal as well.

7. Responsibility

Being responsible in the workplace is very important. Managers need to ensure assignments, tasks, and

deadlines are met. It's also the responsibility of a manager to hire appropriate people for specific

positions. Managers are expected to be able to handle a lot and being responsible about every situation

will be beneficial in the end.

8. Organization

Managers need to be well organized for many different reasons and in many different areas. Keeping a

clean and well organized office will impress others and also make it easier to work. Managers need to

encourage employees to also keep their personal space clean and neat. Organizing projects, assignments,

and documents is a great way to find them quickly and with ease.


9. Leadership Skills

Managers are leaders in the workplace and need to possess the basic skills. Generally managers were

once leaders in other aspects of their life. They might have led youth groups, school projects, plays, and

other groups. Being able to handle a group of people and lead them in the right direction is very


10. Objective Views

Managers need to remain objective towards their employees, fellow managers, customers, and their own

personal work. A manager should not be bias towards a certain group or person. He/she should always

remain non-judgmental and give everyone a chance to prove themselves. Having a "favorite" employee

should not happen because it's not fair to other employees. Managers should also be able to remember

that you should view staff members and customers in a professional manner rather than as a close

personal friend.

Seven personal qualities found in a good leader

A good leader has an exemplary character. It is of utmost importance that a leader is trustworthy to lead

others. A leader needs to be trusted and be known to live their life with honestly and integrity. A good

leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is

born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.

A good leader is enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. People will

respond more openly to a person of passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of

inspiration, and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and

roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the

goal. This kind of leader will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.

A good leader is confident. In order to lead and set direction a leader needs to appear confident as a

person and in the leadership role. Such a person inspires confidence in others and draws out the trust

and best efforts of the team to complete the task well. A leader who conveys confidence towards the

proposed objective inspires the best effort from team members

A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People

look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when

the leader portrays confidence and a positive demeanor.

Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose.

Storms, emotions, and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps

a cool head

A good leader, as well as keeping the main goal in focus, is able to think analytically. Not only does a

good leader view a situation as a whole, but is able to break it down into sub parts for closer inspection.

While keeping the goal in view, a good leader can break it down into manageable steps and make

progress towards it

A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. The good leader not

only maintains high standards, but also is proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in

all areas.

These seven personal characteristics are foundational to good leadership. Some characteristics may be

more naturally present in the personality of a leader. However, each of these characteristics can also be

developed and strengthened. A good leader whether they naturally possess these qualities or not, will be

diligent to consistently develop and strengthen them in their leadership role

42.2 Transformational Leadership

Views of school leadership are changing largely because of current restructuring initiatives and the

demands of the 90s. Advocates for school reform also usually advocate altering power relationships.

The problem, explain Douglas Mitchell and Sharon Tucker (1992), is that we have tended to think of

leadership as the capacity to take charge and get things done. This view keeps us from focusing on the

importance of teamwork and comprehensive school improvement. Perhaps it is time, they say, to stop


thinking of leadership as aggressive action and more as a way of thinking--about ourselves, our jobs,

and the nature of the educational process. Thus, "instructional leadership" is "out" and "transformational

leadership" is "in."

How has the term "transformational leadership" evolved and what does it mean?

The idea of transformational leadership was first developed by James McGregor Burns in 1978 and later

extended by Bernard Bass as well as others. Neither Burns nor Bass studied schools but rather based

their work on political leaders, Army officers, or business executives.

For example, there has been a shift in businesses away from Type A to Type Z organizations. Type Z

organizations reduce differences in status between workers and managers, emphasize participative

decision-making, and are based on a form of "consensual" or "facilitative" power that is manifested

through other people instead of over other people (Kenneth Leithwood 1992).

Although there have been few studies of such leadership in schools and the definition of

transformational leadership is still vague, evidence shows that there are similarities in transformational

leadership whether it is in a school setting or a business environment (Nancy Hoover and others 1991,

Kenneth Leithwood and Doris Jantzi 1990, Leithwood). "The issue is more than simply who makes

which decisions," says Richard Sagor (1992). "Rather it is finding a way to be successful in

collaboratively defining the essential purpose of teaching and learning and then empowering the entire

school community to become energized and focused. In schools where such a focus has been achieved,

we found that teaching and learning became transformative for everyone."

How does this differ from other school leadership styles?

Instructional leadership

Instructional leadership encompasses hierarchies and top-down leadership, where the leader is supposed

to know the best form of instruction and closely monitors teachers' and students' work. One of the

problems with this, says Mary Poplin (1992), is that great administrators aren't always great classroom

leaders and vice versa. Another difficulty is that this form of leadership concentrates on the growth of

students but rarely looks at the growth of teachers. Since she believes that education now calls on

administrators to be "the servants of collective vision," as well as "editors, cheerleaders, problem

solvers, and resource finders," instructional leadership, she declares, has outlived its usefulness.

Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership is sometimes called bartering. It is based on an exchange of services (from a

teacher, for instance) for various kinds of rewards (such as a salary) that the leader controls, at least in


Transactional leadership is often viewed as being complementary with transformational leadership.

Thomas Sergiovanni (1990) considers transformational leadership a first stage and central to getting

day-to-day routines carried out. However, Leithwood says it doesn't stimulate improvement. Mitchell

and Tucker add that transactional leadership works only when both leaders and followers understand

and are in agreement about which tasks are important.

What are the goals of transformational leadership?

Leithwood finds that transformational leaders pursue three fundamental goals:

Helping staff develop and maintain a collaborative, professional school culture: This means staff

members often talk, observe, critique, and plan together. Norms of collective responsibility and

continuous improvement encourage them to teach each other how to teach better. Transformational

leaders involve staff in collaborative goal setting, reduce teacher isolation, use bureaucratic mechanisms

to support cultural changes, share leadership with others by delegating power, and actively

communicate the school's norms and beliefs.

Fostering teacher development


One of Leithwood's studies suggests that teachers' motivation for development is enhanced when they

internalize goals for professional growth. This process, Leithwood found, is facilitated when they are

strongly committed to a school mission. When leaders give staff a role in solving nonroutine school

improvement problems, they should make sure goals are explicit and ambitious but not unrealistic.

Helping teachers solve problems more effectively

Transformational leadership is valued by some, says Leithwood, because it stimulates teachers to

engage in new activities and put forth that "extra effort" (see also Hoover and others, Sergiovanni,

Sagor). Leithwood found that transformational leaders use practices primarily to help staff members

work smarter, not harder. "These leaders shared a genuine belief that their staff members as a group

could develop better solutions than the principal could alone," concludes Leithwood.

What strategies do transformational leaders use?

Here are specific ideas, culled from several sources on transformational leadership (Sagor, Leithwood,

Leithwood and Jantzi, Poplin):

Visit each classroom every day; assist in classrooms; encourage teachers to visit one another's


Involve the whole staff in deliberating on school goals, beliefs, and visions at the beginning of the


Help teachers work smarter by actively seeking different interpretations and checking out

assumptions; place individual problems in the larger perspective of the whole school; avoid

commitment to preconceived solutions; clarify and summarize at key points during meetings; and

keep the group on task but do not impose your own perspective.

Use action research teams or school improvement teams as a way of sharing power. Give everyone

responsibilities and involve staff in governance functions. For those not participating, ask them to

be in charge of a committee.

Find the good things that are happening and publicly recognize the work of staff and students who

have contributed to school improvement. Write private notes to teachers expressing appreciation for

special efforts.

Survey the staff often about their wants and needs. Be receptive to teachers' attitudes and

philosophies. Use active listening and show people you truly care about them.

Let teachers experiment with new ideas. Share and discuss research with them. Propose questions

for people to think about.

Bring workshops to your school where it's comfortable for staff to participate. Get teachers to share

their talents with one another. Give a workshop yourself and share information with staff on

conferences that you attend.

When hiring new staff, let them know you want them actively involved in school decision-making;

hire teachers with a commitment to collaboration. Give teachers the option to transfer if they can't

wholly commit themselves to the school's purposes.

Have high expectations for teachers and students, but don't expect 100 percent if you aren't also

willing to give the same. Tell teachers you want them to be the best teachers they possibly can be.

Use bureaucratic mechanisms to support teachers, such as finding money for a project or providing

time for collaborative planning during the workday. Protect teachers from the problems of limited

time, excessive paperwork, and demands from other agencies.

Let teachers know they are responsible for all students, not just their own classes.

What are the results of this kind of leadership?

Evidence of the effects of transformational leadership, according to Leithwood, is "uniformly positive."

He cites two findings from his own studies:

Transformational leadership practices have a sizable influence on teacher collaboration, and

Significant relationships exist between aspects of transformational leadership and teachers' own

reports of changes in both attitudes toward school improvement and altered instructional behavior.


Sergiovanni suggests that student achievement can be "remarkably improved" by such leadership.

Finally, Sagor found that schools where teachers and students reported a culture conducive to school

success had a transformational leader as its principal.

However, Mitchell and Tucker conclude that transformational leadership should be seen as only one

part of a balanced approach to creating high performance in schools. Leithwood agrees: "While most

schools rely on both top-down and facilitative forms of power, finding the right balance is the problem.

For schools that are restructuring, moving closer to the facilitative end of the power continuum will

usually solve the problem."


A good Vision serves three important purposes.

Clarifying “General direction for Change”

Motivates People to take action in right direction, even if initial steps are personally painful.

Helps coordinate action of different people, even thousand & thousands of individuals, in a

remarkably fast & efficient way.

Characteristics of Effective Vision

Imaginable: It conveys a picture of what the future could look like. The vision must be ambitious

enough to force people out of their comfort zones. The God we serve created the universe; He can do

great things!

Desirable: It appeals to the long-term interests of most of the organization’s stakeholders. In contrast,

poor visions tend to ignore the legitimate interests of some groups, or to exploit other groups.

Realistic: Good visions are not “pie-in-the-sky” fantasies with no chance of realization. Christian

leaders must be careful not to let a cavalier “all things are possible with God” attitude to substitute for a

legitimate vision that is, at once, faith-filled yet realistic. Moreover, good visions will take advantage of

fundamental trends. Finally, to be realistic, the vision should be linked to the core competencies of the


Focused: Good visions are clear enough to motivate action. They should not be vague or ambiguous.

Flexible: Good visions must be flexible enough to allow initiative. Bad visions are sometimes too

specific or do not allow for modification. As the change proceeds, the vision itself will often change! So

it must be flexible to begin with.

Communicable: An effective vision can be explained successfully within five minutes. Unintelligible

visions are ineffective. The trumpet must sound a clear and compelling call. Vision articulates what is

important, unique & exciting about what organization do. It guides for decision rules employees make

about behavior.

Vision Statement

Vision Statement Encompasses the desired future for your company. A Vision Statement provides a

basis on which you & your team members can focus & work towards. Some vision statements look

ahead only a year or two, while other vision statements may look ahead ten years. Whatever time frame,

a vision statement is essential for giving drives to every employee in your company. A good vision

should draw up a ‘picture’ of what an individual or a group has in mind & cause those that read it to

‘see’ the intended outcome.


42.4 The Leadership Grid & the Managerial Grid

Leadership model that focuses on task (production) & employee (people) orientations of Managers as

well as combinations of concerns between two extremes. Developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane S.

Mouton, The Leadership Grid provides a framework for understanding types of leadership. The grid

consists of two behavioral dimensions:

  • Concern for production
  • Concern for people

Blake and Mouton characterize five different leadership styles according to the varying emphasis on

each of these two dimensions (with a range of 1 to 9 on each continuum), as illustrated in the table

below. They suggest that most effective leadership is characterized by the combination of high concern

for production with high concern for people.

Developed by the founders of our company, Drs. Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton, The Managerial

Grid graphic below is a very simple framework that elegantly defines seven basic styles that

characterize workplace behavior and the resulting relationships. The seven managerial Grid styles are

based on how two fundamental concerns (concern for people and concern for results) are manifested at

varying levels whenever people interact.

Figure 42.1: Managerial Grid

The Seven Managerial Grid Styles:

9,1 Controlling (Direct & Dominate)

I expect results and take control by clearly stating a course of action. I enforce rules that sustain high

results and do not permit deviation.

1,9 Accommodating (Yield & Comply)

I support results that establish and reinforce harmony. I generate enthusiasm by focusing on positive and

pleasing aspects of work.

5,5 Status Quo (Balance & Compromise)

I endorse results that are popular but caution against taking unnecessary risk. I test my opinions with

others involved to assure ongoing acceptability.

1,1 Indifferent (Evade & Elude)

I distance myself from taking active responsibility for results to avoid getting entangled in problems. If

forced, I take a passive or supportive position.

PAT Paternalistic (Prescribe and Guide)

I provide leadership by defining initiatives for myself and others. I offer praise and appreciation for

support, and discourage challenges to my thinking.


OPP Opportunistic (Exploit & Manipulate)

I persuade others to support results that offer me private benefit. If they also benefit, that’s even better in

gaining support. I rely on whatever approach is needed to secure an advantage

9,9 Sound (Contribute and Commit)

I initiate team action in a way that invites involvement and commitment. I explore all facts and

alternative views to reach a shared understanding of the best solution

Grid Relationship Skills

The Grid theory translates into practical use through Grid style relationship skills that people experience

day in and day out when they work together. These relationship skills depict the typical and vital

behaviors for each style that make relationships effective or ineffective. Some behaviors strengthen and

motivate teams while others obstruct progress.

Critique - Learning from experience by anticipating and examining how behavior and actions affect


Initiative - Taking action to exercise shared effort, drive, and support for specific activities

Inquiry - Questioning, seeking information, and testing for understanding

Advocacy - Expressing attitudes, opinions, ideas, and convictions

Decision-Making - Evaluating resources, criteria, and consequences to reach a decision

Conflict Resolution - Confronting and working through disagreements with others toward resolution

Resilience - Reacting to problems, setbacks, and failure, and understanding how these factors influence

the ability to move forward

Grid theory makes behaviors as tangible and objective as any other corporate commodity. By studying

each of the seven Leadership Grid styles and the resulting relationship skill behaviors, teams can

examine, in objective terms, how behaviors help or hurt them. They can explore types of critique that

work best for them and why. They can openly discuss how to improve decision-making and conflict

resolution skills. These and other subjects usually considered "off limits" in terms of productivity are the

very subjects that usually impede productivity. The Grid approach makes these subjects not only

"discussable" but measurable in objective terms that generate empathy, motivation to improve, and


Leaders may be concerned for their people and they also must also have some concern for the work to

be done. The question is, how much attention to they pay to one or the other? This is a model defined by

Blake and Mouton in the early 1960s.

Figure 42.2: Leadership Grid

Impoverished management

Minimum effort to get the work done. A basically lazy approach that avoids as much work as possible.


Strong focus on task, but with little concern for people. Focus on efficiency, including the elimination of

people wherever possible.

Country Club management

Care and concern for the people, with a comfortable and friendly environment and collegial style. But a

low focus on task may give questionable results.

Middle of the road management

A weak balance of focus on both people and the work. Doing enough to get things done, but not pushing

the boundaries of what may be possible.

Team management

Firing on all cylinders: people are committed to task and leader is committed to people (as well as task).

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