I have been thinking about “transformational leadership” in terms of three keywords: Character, Culture, and Perseverance.
Our character is our foundation. It involves our spiritual/devotional life, our connection to God. This is who we are, and who we are is foundational to what we do. Transformational leaders seek to build strong Christ-like character both in their own lives and in the lives of others (i.e., discipleship).
Developing character impacts the culture of the organization. Transformational leadership involves shaping/re-shaping the culture of the organization, not just making surface-level changes. Change must ultimately take place in the hear or it won’t be real/lasting change!
Developing character and shaping culture takes a lot longer than simply enacting and implementing changes. Because lasting change does not happen overnight, transformational leaders must be committed to the task for the long haul.
My challenge as a Christ-following leader has always been timing. If it were up to me, I’d like for transformation to happen quickly, but I realize that’s not wise to move too quickly. We work with people who are at different stages in the transformational process. I want to go fast enough to not lose early adopters (people who are ready to move forward) but slow enough to not lose the late-adopters (people who need more time before moving forward.
Not included here are never-adopters, that small percentage of people who, outside of a Damascus Road experience, will never go along with any change. We simply can’t allow God’s mission to be held captive by people who will never move forward.
Transformational leadership requires transformed Christ-like character, a focus on shaping church culture, as well as the perseverance/endurance needed for the long journey ahead!