Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meta-leadership: Part V

"Transactional leaders use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their followers."

"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. Various names are used for such leadership, some of them derisory: elevating, mobilizing, inspiring, exalting, uplifting, preaching, exhorting, evangelizing. The relationship can be moralistic, of course. But transforming leadership ultimately becomes moral in that it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both leader and led, and thus it has a transforming effect on both."

The definition for "transforming leadership" can also be a definition, at least in part, for "meta-leadership."

Although I am not a huge fan of the whole "need for leadership issue" since it almost always leads to those designated as leaders accumulating and hence almost never willingly relinquishing power (thank god for George Washington), thus leading to the "cycle of stagnation" we've talked about earlier, there is a "tradition" that needs and expects some sort of leadership model.

The meta-leadership model (or transformational model) at least offers the hope of creating a "dynamic environment" that will allow us to engage in clear thinking based on real time data and analysis and collaborative organization building. Meta-leadership might also be further defined as the "absence of static leadership and organization."

This dynamism is necessary in a world with diminishing resources, a larger population, greater competition among and between geographic regions as well as a whole host of criteria that will define our immediate and long term future.

Meta-leadership can and should allow for the dynamic interaction of small, medium and larger groups and organizations. It does not demand (transactional leadership) a certain way of doing things.

Therefore, leadership is based upon need and ability in real time (or virtual real time) not just upon someone being designated as a leader.

More in Part Six.

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