Balance in Leadership Is Not the Key

In “Leadership: Theory and Practice”, Northouse (2013) presents the research done by the University of Michigan where it was concluded there are ”two types of leadership behaviors: employee orientation and production orientation.” Later on, Bass (1985) pointed out that approaches to leadership from a laissez-faire model to a transformational model were on a continuum moving from production orientation to employee orientation. As Stone and Patterson (2005) point out, the progression does not end with transformational leadership, but extends into servant leadership. (p. 11) Both transformational and servant leadership are considered “higher-order evolutions in leadership paradigms” (Stone, 2005, p. 11) with a high emphasis on followers over production. This emphasis on followers creates environments of security, which leads to high morale and, in turn, high productivity. The approach of servant leadership “serves organizations the best in the long run.” (Caldwell, Bischoff, & Karri, 2002, p. 162).

An equal balance of focus on relationships and objectives would be found in the model of transactional leadership. This model relies on the leader displaying “behaviors associated with constructive and corrective transactions.” (Rumley, 2011, Kindle Locations 339-340). These transactions are neither solely focused on objectives nor relationships, but rather equally. As an objective is met, followers are rewarded, and as objectives are not met, followers are punished. As Stone and Patterson pointed out, though, this is a lower level model than the servant leadership model, which is highly focused on the followers.

The focus of the leader on individuals is closer to the original design of leadership, explained by Jesus in Mark 10.42-45 where he called the disciples to servant leadership in contrast to the earthly examples who used people as pawns to achieve objectives. (Crossway Bibles, 2007) Balance is not the focus, people are, and they always have been.

References

Bass, B. M. (1985). LEADERSHIP AND PERFORMANCE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. New York : London: Free Press.

Caldwell, C., Bischoff, S. J., & Karri, R. (2002). The Four Umpires: A Paradigm for Ethical Leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 36(1/2), 153–163.

Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Rumley, D. (2011). TRANSFORMATIONAL MINISTRY: LEADERSHIP, CHURCH GROWTH, AND THE SENIOR PASTOR’S EFFECTIVENESS. Dr. David D. Rumley.

Stone, G., & Patterson, Kathleen. (2005). History of Leadership Focus. Servant Leadership Research Roundtable, (August).


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