Dr. Charles Stone is a leadership coach specializing in assisting pastors and their spouses. He writes a blog that I find to be very helpful in leadership development and pastoral equipping. He has written an excellent book called 5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them. Recently he provided this post that helps clarify what we mean by transformational leadership.
Are you a Transactional Leader or a Transformational Leader? Take this test and find out.
Recently I was privileged to hear Dr. James Galvin speak on leadership. He’s authored many books on the subject and has consulted with such organizations as the Willow Creek Assocation, Zondervan, and Wycliffe. He explained a concept called “The Full Range Leadership Model” which contrasts transactional leadership from transformational leadership. You can find a really cool visual that describes the two here.
Essentially transactional leadership is “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” At times we must lead as transactional leaders. For example, we set a ministry or organizational goal and when a staffer helps that goal get met, a reward comes. In contrast, however, we should seek to grow our leadership so that we lead more often as transformational leaders.
Based on the descriptions below, how would others describe your default leadership patterns? The first four represent transactional leaders. The last five characterize transformational leaders.
- I often avoid getting involved. I tend to be passive.
- I loosely monitor what’s happening in the ministry and step in only if things go really bad.
- I set clear goals and standards and closely monitor the staff and step in when things begin to get off track.
- I set clear goals, provide needed support, and praise good performance.
- I listen to others and coach them to bring out their best.
- I ask others for their thoughts and perspectives.
- I’m genuinely positive, enthusiastic, and cast a compelling vision.
- I often talk about shared mission, vision, and values with the team.
- My simple presence can inspire others’ confidence.
Find a few trusted friends and ask them to share with you where they’d place you on this scale.