Every person is a leader. Once you have a job, get married, become a parent, join a church, pastor a church, then the leadership opportunity is presented to you. Everyone is a leader is some aspect of their life. However, as life experience demonstrates vividly, the quality of each person’s leadership varies.
One way to think about this is to view leadership as a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum there are the leaders who might be called laizze-faire in their style of leadership. They think little of how to lead others, apply themselves minimally to learning about leadership and have little concern for the circle of influence they possess. Needless to say, laizze-faire leaders are ineffective leaders.
Further along on the spectrum are those who might be described as transactional leaders. This is a common approach to leadership in many businesses today. These leaders offer tit for tat. If you do something for me, I will do something for you. Transactional leadership is needed to run most modern organizations but there is a better option than being limited to transactional leadership.
On the furthest end of the spectrum are the leaders who might be described as transformational in their style of leadership. Those who are people who recognize that a leader, together with his or her followers, has the potential to achieve higher levels of motivation, morale and accomplishment in their church or organization. This is the ultimate style of leadership that every leader, pastor and business manager should achieve to accomplish.
Based on the research of Bernard Bass, and others, it is understood that transformational leaders possess four qualities:
- Idealized Influence
Transformational leaders inspire people because they are committed to the mission, lead by example and are admired for their passion and commitment.
- Inspirational Motivation
Transformational leaders inspire people and motivate them to action for the benefit of the mission and vision.
- Individualized Consideration
Transformational leaders have knowledge of and concern for those that they lead. They pay close attention to the needs of their followers to bring out the best in them.
- Intellectual Stimulation
Transformational leaders increase the performance of their followers by encouraging them to be creative and innovative.