My colleague Alvin Sanders defines transformative leadership as the ability to convince people to do what they don't naturally do. I think that is a pretty good definition and it is every leader's challenge.

Organizations, including ministries, naturally gravitate toward what is comfortable rather than what is missional and best. It is why it is so easy to slip into an institutional mode, lose one's cutting edge and all the while think that all is well until we wake up one day and realize that we are no longer effective. 

Think for instance of how easy it is in the church to focus on ourselves, fill our lives with programming and activities and to almost ignore the mandate to be salt and light in the world. That comfort zone is reflected by the amazingly low new conversion statistics in most churches. We simply don't have the time or inclination to develop friendships that are genuine outside of the church. Where you do see regular conversions happening you have a transformative leader who has convinced the congregation to do what they don't naturally do! But what God calls them to do.

Or take the issue of dealing with conflict. Most people are conflict avoiders who would rather not deal with relational difficulties. In organizations where there is a Matthew 18 practice (keeping short accounts and dealing with conflict) you have a transformative leader who has convinced the organization to do what it does not naturally do.

Transformative leaders see through a lens of what should be rather than what is and lead their team, division or organization to healthy practices that others often ignore because they are harder, uncomfortable and not what folks naturally do. It is why their staff look different than the average and why their results are better and their culture healthier. 

If you are a leader, are you a transformative leader or one who easily settles for what is comfortable? Jesus was a transformative leader and I believe He desires us to be the same.

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.

  • Dec 11, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
Leave a comment