Transformative Leadership is Essential

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Transformative Leadership is Essential

Transformative leadership is in critical demand in our communities. If you spend time in any local gathering place or simply ask any citizen, you would find that this issue is ever present. At issue is not the number of leaders present. There is no shortage of individuals claiming to be leaders. Some are viewed by citizens as gate keepers; charlatans of limited substance while others are seen as being driven by self interest rarely if ever putting themselves or anything at risk in offering legitimate solutions to pressing community challenges. As citizens observing this dynamic, we instinctively know something is not right and it’s not leadership we are witnessing but we often stop short of challenging the process and working to raising the level of expectation and performance of the leadership product put before us.

While there are many definitions and forms of leadership, we have come to accept a form of perceived leadership where the emphasis has been on the leader exchanging things of value with their identified constituent base to advance their own as well as their constituent agendas. This type of leadership is static and not capable of addressing the social and economic challenges present in our communities today. Its foundation sets the stage to get what we have always gotten.

The form of leadership I am referring to is described as transformative leadership which seeks to realign our expectation of leadership and enhance our capacity to address our burgeoning social and economic problems. Within this context, transformative leadership engages with the community and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and expectation in both the leader and the community to align its efforts to solve its own pressing community problems.

This type of leader(s) is attentive to the needs of all aspects of the community not isolating or focusing on one aspect over the other to help the community reach its full social and economic potential. Transformative leadership motivates the community to do more that the expected by raising its level of consciousness about the importance and value of getting the community to transcend its own self-interest for the sake of the larger community and moving community members to address high level needs of the entire community.

If we are to reach a point in our communities where we can truly address our persistent social and economic problems, it will require us as citizens to reexamine the leadership product we are putting out there to represent our community. I know, this is easier said than done and it will require both hope and faith in getting past what has become accepted as the norm. The choice is ours, ask yourself are we in fact getting transformative leadership or are we simply doing what we have always done?

You decide next time you are asked to participate in choosing leaders to represent our community.

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