This model of leadership based on degrees carried over into the 19th century and this is what McGregor Burns comes up with as the classic 19th, early 20th century leadership model which is transactional. It is a leadership based on power. It works through coercion, you think of the great minds in England, America and elsewhere and the railroads. The leader gives a direction and everybody has to follow it. The whole model of leadership is an engineer running a factory. If you remember the management studies we were introduced to in YWAM in the 80’s, this is exactly what we were given as a leadership model, the factory model. The manager’s job was to get the most work out of the worker in a nice way. The whole thing for the worker is a job, in other words it is based on a transaction, the employer contracts with me to give me a certain amount of money, a certain amount of security, a certain place in society and on my behalf I contract to give a certain amount of work, at a certain speed and a certain quality. It is reciprocal concessions; it is based on a contract. It is authoritarian, top down hierarchy.
However, McGregor Burns pointed out that in the 20th century and especially in the recent years, there has been a new model of leadership, actually neither one of them is that ‘new’, but we will get to that in a minute. The power of this model is that we see it in the Bible. In society, a scientist who is an honest observer will pick out universal principles because of God’s creation, and that is what this guy did. I don’t know if he is a Christian at all, but transformation leadership is not based on power, but on authority. These are 2 different words in the Greek, as you know, it is very different. It works through influence. The leader does not command his followers to follow a certain direction, he gives a vision that calls his followers, and it is visionary.
The model is a politician leading a community. Of course politician is a negative word for many of us, but the point of that is the leader is there by consensus of the followers; the followers want to follow that leader. It is based on a calling, it is not just a job, but it is a calling and it is based on appeal to the values of the worker. The promise to the worker is ‘come work with us and you will be transformed’. It is not just ‘you will get so much money, or you will get so much security’. The promise is you will be transformed. The worker is called to a commitment, not necessarily a contract. And the whole idea is liberating.
Businesses started in America and now around the world are increasing moving to this model. Businesses do not do this anymore, especially in fields that command creativity such as computer programming, all kinds of videos, graphics all this kind of thing. Because what they have found is that creative people and young people will not work in this kind of organization for any amount of money. I was teaching this and talking to some people in Bertney, their son goes to an engineering school there in Switzerland. He had just graduated and the entire year before his graduation, because he was a computer engineer, he was getting job offers. He finally took a job where he received much less money than he could have earned, but it was an environment of many other young people, it was dynamic, creative, cutting edge and that was where he wanted to work.
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