Transactional leadership is kind of a buzz word lately. What does it really mean? Is it really so bad!?!
BusinessDictionary.com defines transactional leadership as “Style of leadership that is based on the setting of clear objectives and goals for the followers as well as the use of either punishments or rewards in order to encourage compliance with these goals.”
This style of leadership has its pros and cons. One clear advantage is that it is more easily measured. It is traditional. It works, to a certain extent, to get an individual or organization from one place that is at to another place or a goal. The trouble with this top-down leadership is that this next generation of leadership is not buying the “cause I said so” answer any longer. Loyalty is not valued as highly as individuality. Gone are the days where most people stay at the same job for 20+ years. Very rare is the man or woman who retires from the job they started in their 20s. Some say the problem is faithfulness. Others say this is a selfish generation that is always looking for more. But what if they are right?
What if this next generation values buy-in more than bottom line? Could it be that they are more concerned with how ‘it’ works than what they get out of it? Let me explain. Having worked with this next generation for over 20 years now I don’t see a self-consumed group, questioning authority just because they are old enough to have a voice. Rather, I see a generation asking for a place at the table.
Pastor Josh Finley recently talked about generations in his sermon series “Both&And”. He said that there has never been a time where so many generations have existed on the planet at the same time. (http://www.elimgospel.org/th_gallery/both-and/) That being said, the current generational periods are shorter. We are living in the middle of the technological revolution and the younger generation not only wants a place at the table- we need them to be there!
It used to be that in order to get a place at the “big people’s table” at the holiday meals you had to wait for someone to actually vacate a spot. Not so today. If there is not a place made for this generation at the leadership table, they will not wait, they will just walk away and make their own table. This can be read as disrespect by the older generation, but what if, just what if they feel disrespected? It can be easy for the older generation to long for the days when people just did what they were told without questioning, but this generation will not settle for an elite group of leaders who make all the decisions while they wait for an opening at the big people’s table.
The younger generation needs to have a voice. They have valuable things to say. They understand the world they live in. They also house the Holy Spirit and He is alive and well within them.
Relational Leadership works together, with the generations listening to the Holy Spirit as partners.
Who do you need to partner with today? Where do you need to make room at the table?