TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & Learn how Steve Jobs was a great leader because he let his subordinates change his mind. #HBR

“Persuading the Unpersuadable” by Adam Grant, Harvard Business Review Magazine (March–April 2021)

…The legend of Steve Jobs is that he transformed our lives with the strength of his convictions. The key to his greatness, the story goes, was his ability to bend the world to his vision. The reality is that much of Apple’s success came from his team’s pushing him to rethink his positions. If Jobs hadn’t surrounded himself with people who knew how to change his mind, he might not have changed the world.

For years Jobs insisted he would never make a phone. After his team finally persuaded him to reconsider, he banned outside apps; it took another year to get him to reverse that stance. Within nine months the App Store had a billion downloads, and a decade later the iPhone had generated more than $1 trillion in revenue.

Almost every leader has studied the genius of Jobs, but surprisingly few have studied the genius of those who managed to influence him. As an organizational psychologist, I’ve spent time with a number of people who succeeded in motivating him to think again, and I’ve analyzed the science behind their techniques. The bad news is that plenty of leaders are so sure of themselves that they reject worthy opinions and ideas from others and refuse to abandon their own bad ones. The good news is that it is possible to get even the most overconfident, stubborn, narcissistic, and disagreeable people to open their minds.

… Here are some approaches that can help you encourage a know-it-all to recognize when there’s something to be learned, a stubborn colleague to make a U-turn, a narcissist to show humility, and a disagreeable boss to agree with you.

Ask a Know-It-All to Explain How Things Work

The first barrier to changing someone’s view is arrogance. We’ve all encountered leaders who are overconfident: They don’t know what they don’t know. If you call out their ignorance directly, they may get defensive. A better approach is to let them recognize the gaps in their own understanding…

Let a Stubborn Person Seize the Reins

A second obstacle to changing people’s opinions is stubbornness. Intractable people see consistency and certainty as virtues. Once made up, their minds seem to be set in stone. But their views become more pliable if you hand them a chisel…

A solution to this problem comes from a study of Hollywood screenwriters. Those who pitched fully formed concepts to executives right out of the gate struggled to get their ideas accepted. Successful screenwriters, by contrast, understood that Hollywood executives like to shape stories. Those writers treated the pitch more like a game of catch, tossing an idea over to the suits, who would build on it and throw it back…

Find the Right Way to Praise a Narcissist

A third hurdle in the way of changing minds is narcissism. Narcissistic leaders believe they’re superior and special, and they don’t take kindly to being told they’re wrong. But with careful framing, you can coax them toward acknowledging that they’re flawed and fallible.

It’s often said that bullies and narcissists have low self-esteem. But research paints a different picture: Narcissists actually have high but unstable self-esteem. They crave status and approval and become hostile when their fragile egos are threatened—when they’re insulted, rejected, or shamed. By appealing to their desire to be admired, you can counteract their knee-jerk tendency to reject a difference of opinion as criticism. Indeed, studies in both the United States and China have shown that narcissistic leaders are capable of demonstrating humility: They can believe they’re gifted while acknowledging their imperfections. To nudge them in that direction, affirm your respect for them.

In 1997, not long after returning to Apple as CEO, Jobs was discussing a new suite of technology at the company’s global developer conference. During the audience Q&A, one man harshly criticized the software and Jobs himself. “It’s sad and clear that on several counts you’ve discussed, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. (Ouch.)

You might assume that Jobs went on the attack, got defensive, or maybe even threw the man out of the room. Instead he showed humility: “One of the hardest things when you’re trying to effect change is that people like this gentleman are right in some areas,” he exclaimed, adding: “I readily admit there are many things in life that I don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about. So I apologize for that….We’ll find the mistakes; we’ll fix them.” The crowd erupted into applause.

How did the critic elicit such a calm reaction? He kicked his comments off with a compliment: “Mr. Jobs, you’re a bright and influential man.” As the audience laughed, Jobs replied, “Here it comes.”

As this story shows, a dash of acclaim can be a powerful antidote to a narcissist’s insecurity.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2021/03/persuading-the-unpersuadable?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter&tpcc=orgsocial_edit

24 HOURS ONLY. Enroll in my “Church Leadership 101” course and get lifetime access on computer, phone or tablet FREE. Finish anytime (once completed just send me feedback on this new course). Remember, you can complete it anytime (and have lifetime access) … www.ChurchLeadership.university

Take a short, introductory “CHURCH LEADERSHIP 101” course as part of ChurchLeadership.university.

LEADERSHIP & Who are the strategic leaders? by @BobWhitesel published by @BiblicalLeader Magazine.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Biblical Leadership Magazine, 08/21/19.

(Click the following link for a short, self-scoring questionnaire to discover your 3-STRand leadership mix: https://churchhealthwiki.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/3-strand-leadership-questionnaire-c2a9bobwhitesel-fillable.pdf)

IMG_7580

The word strategy comes from the Greek word for a military general: strategoi. The generals of ancient Athens, led by the forward-thinking Pericles, undertook a grand building project to make Athens the cultural and political center of Greece. The Athenian generals’ strategy paid off, with beautiful buildings such as the Parthenon, making Athens the Greek capital.

Subsequently, in the military field the word strategic has come to refer to the bigger-picture planning that is done before a before a battle begins. Strategic leaders see the big picture, and envision outcomes before the battle commences. They intuitively know what the results should be, even though they are not experts in getting there. In the military, strategic leaders are generals, admirals, etc.

In architecture

An analogy from the world of art may be helpful. The strategic leader is akin to an artist. He or she seems the dim outline of the future, perhaps a gleaming office tower or an eye-catching museum. They can envision what it will look like once it is complete. But, they seek only general forms, shapes and appearances. They see the art and the results.

In the military

Strategic leaders are intentional, big-picture leaders who deal in theoretical, hypothetical concepts and strategies. For example, in World War II generals such as Dwight Eisenhower and Bernard Montgomery strategically knew that France must be invaded and wrestled from the German occupiers. The decisions to invade North Africa, Sicily, Italy and eventually France were decided upon by the generals. But, once each of the invasions commenced, leadership was put into the hands of tactical leaders.

In the church

Let’s look at some typical characteristics that distinguish leaders in the church. And, in my consultative work, I have routinely witnessed that pastors can be drawn into the ministry by two competing roles.[ii]

1. The shepherd. Many pastors enter the ministry due to a desire to help fellow humankind with a hands-on, relational, personal and mentoring type of leadership style. This is analogous to the guidance of a shepherd, and is reflected in scriptures about nurture, care and cultivation such as in Isaiah 40:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

And, this is exemplified by Jesus who is described as, “our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20). Pastors drawn by this role often become relational leaders.

2. The visionary. Pastors in this category have an overriding desire to make a significant impact for Christ and His kingdom. They are impassioned by statements such as John 4:34-38, “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying, ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Visionaries have what church growth researcher Win Arn called “church growth eyes … a developed characteristic of individuals and churches who have achieved a sensitivity to seeing possibilities….”[iii] Pastors drawn by this leadership role usually become strategic leaders.

3. A mixture. Oftentimes pastors and church leaders have a mixture of the two above roles and may fluctuate between one or the other at various times in their ministerial journey. However, it is important to note the dissimilar nature of these roles. One seeks to build interpersonal camaraderie and intimacy, the other seeks to attain a physical forward-looking goal.

In the former, intimacy is the purpose, and in the later the future goal is the purpose. Which is needed? They both are, but the wise church leader will employ each as the circumstance warrants and as their abilities allow. Thus, let’s look a bit more at strategic leadership.

Pastors attracted to the ministry because of a vision to make a significant impact for Christ often exhibit strategic leadership. And, they are often passionate about their work, for they see the depravity of humankind and they perceive how Christ provides the necessary answer.

Subsequently, they are often highly enthusiastic and energetic about reaching people for Christ. This passion can sometimes be misconstrued as a fervor for growth, size or power. And, such negative attributes can sneak in. However, what customarily motivates these individuals is the picture they envision of many people coming to know Christ.

As such, visual and revelatory scriptures hold great sway, and they can readily perceive the “great multitudes of Revelation 7:9-10 “… a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

In the change process

Strategic leaders are the first to notice that change is needed. This is because they are always looking ahead. To a degree, they live in the future better than the present. Thus, they can be frustrating to work with if not accompanied by the tactical leader. Strategic leaders thus see the need for change, and love discussing the rationale and theories of change.[iv]

They know what the change should look like, but they have trouble seeing the individual steps to get there. Thus, they are critical for the change process, for they look ahead and see where the church is going and needs to go. But they are also frustrating for other leaders because strategic leaders know what the results should look like, but they are weak at envisioning the step-by-step process.

Characteristics

Strategic leadership is “future directed.”[v] Strategic leaders often want people to move forward, and thus they are the first to start moving in new directions. Historian Martin Marty said they “are extremely sensitive to where people are, but are not content to leave them there.”[vi]

Other names for strategic leaders are:

1. Visionaries (George Barna,[vii] Leith Anderson[viii] and Phil Miglioratti[ix]).

2. Role 1 Leaders (Phil Miglioratti[x]).

3. “Top management” (John Wimber, Eddie Gibbs[xi]).

4. “Strong, authoritative, directive pastoral leadership” (Wagner[xii]).

5. Upper-level Management (John Kotter[xiii]).

6. Sodality leadership, which is described as “vision setter, goal setter, strong leader, visionary, upper management” (Ralph Winter[xiv]).

This is the second article in a series of articles on 3-STRand Leadership. Check out the first, “How church change drove a family away,” by Bob Whitesel. Click here for footnotes.

Excerpted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007).

Photo source: istock 

Read the original article here … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/understanding-graffiti-leadership/

STO LEADERSHIP & My Answers to Questions About STO Leaders: Strategic, Tactical & Operational

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/25/15.

I have written extensively on the importance of team building with complimentary leaders, including creating a questionnaire to help you find your leadership mix.  Called STO Leadership (Strategic, Tactical and Operational Leaders) a student asked important deeper questions about it. Below are my answers which help expand (with his good questions) the importance of understanding Strategic-Tactical-Operational leadership.

Here are the questions from the student, with my answers embedded in them.

Student:  Do tactical leaders have to have equal or exceeding competency as the operational leaders they are leading in the given subject?  (I would lean toward, ‘no’)

Whitesel:  Tactical leaders are good at analysis, usually more than content. Thus, they enjoy balancing either bank statements or cultural/evangelical mandates.  Therefore, analysis trumps content, so no they do not have to have exceeding (or even equal competency) in a given subject with the leaders they are leading.

Student: I have a suspicion that strategic leaders are also not the best at developing new leaders.  So, when I read Nelson’s article I find a difficult time figuring out what to do about it.  Just last night someone on my board said, “we need to disciple these people, how are we going to do it?”  I just drew a blank.  She was right, but I didn’t know what to say.  Not because I didn’t want to do it – I just can’t figure the process.

Whitesel: Right, the process often is beyond the strategic leader’s skills. That is why strategic leaders need tactical leaders as their closest partners.

Student: Some of these principles in Nelson’s article just won’t fly in an established small church.  I have attempted to employ some of these things (like holding volunteers accountable) and it blew up in a huge way.  The people may not have thought me ‘wrong’ but they did think me ‘mean.’  In a family church structure – peace is more important than production.

Whitesel: Strategic leaders are not good at holding people accountable (neither are tactical leaders).  For example, a strategic leader on a board may say, “Joe and Mary aren’t around much anymore and they seem dissatisfied.  I think we should ask them to resign from the administrative board if they are not going to support our mission.” The tactical leader on the board replies, “They haven’t given money in a month, and I’ve noticed they’ve been absence four out of the past five Sundays.”  As a result the board votes to ask for Joe and Mary’s resignation.  What is happening is that an operational leader is missing, to be the go-between between the S and T leaders and the workers.

Student: This read helps me put people like Nouwen into perspective.  I have a hunch, and I may be completely wrong, that he is a strategic leader.  When I read his writings it seems he has a difficult time prescribing process and practicality.  Wonderful matters and paints a beautiful picture of the Christian in his book “In the Name of Jesus” – but what really does he want people to do?

Whitesel: Exactly, at a conference I was listening to a very strategic thinker-author one day and another one the next.  Their speeches are largely one “catch phrase” after another.  I don’t think many pastors were getting ideas that would help back home.

Student: To verify what Whitesel shared about a strong focus on strategic leadership to the neglect of tactical I checked out the DVD’s to the 2007 leadership summit put on by Hybels and gang.  The messages from 2007 include the following:  “Vision to Die For,” “Strategy and Leadership,” “Living for the Greater Good,” “Building Humanity,” and “Whatever You Do, Inspire Me.”  These are all strategy/vision appealing messages.  I think those that are more tactical oriented are just not popular by attendees, and they are presented by speakers who are brought back perennially.  I know I have left feeling more inspired than equipped.

Whitesel:  Well said, “more inspired than equipped.”

STO Leadership & A Comparison Between the 3-types of Leaders (created by my leadership students).

A comparison chart addresses higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and provides a visual representation.  The contrast/comparison chart below was created by my former LEAD 600 students.

STRATEGIC LEADERS

Positive:

They see a need and future and are dreamers with vision and creativity. (Doug B.)

Have a purpose or goal that they are working towards with passion. (Tyler K.)

Always see the big picture, you can see the positive that could be accomplished. (JC)

Seem to have a vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)


Negative

They have a vision, but limited idea of how to get there. (Doug B.)

May not simultaneously share appreciation of current state, demoralizing operational leaders.  Makes all feel like what they’re currently pouring themselves into isn’t good.  (Tyler K.)

Are not sure of the steps to take to get them to where want to go. (JC)

They don’t always know how to accomplish the vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)

TACTICAL LEADERS

Positive:

They can budget, plan, chart, graph and figure out the steps to accomplish the vision. (Doug B.)

Always coming up with ideas, which she also carried out (Christie W.)

Are able to work out the steps to implement the plan.(JC)

They are great at planning and organizing.  They like to take ownership. (Ryan V.)


Negative:

They are good planners, but not always the best at rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. (Doug B.)

The only negative aspect of the person’s excitement was that sometimes everything had to go her way because she thought it was the best plan. (Christie W.)

They have a hard time working with the people to put those steps in place. (JC)

They are not good with new things. They like to be left alone in order to accomplish the task ahead. (Ryan V.)

OPERATIONAL LEADERS

Positive:

When given a task and a plan, they will “get it done!” (Doug B.)

Acts as a servant out of love for Christ and others because they believe what they are doing matters in the big picture. (Tyler K.)

They are excellent at building relationships. (JC)

They are caring and willing to jump right in to help. (Ryan V.)


Negative:

They tend to focus on the immediate task at hand and sometimes fail to see the bigger picture or future. (Doug B.)

Stares at a tree and misses the rest of the forest.  The rest of the forest may be “burning” or unhealthy and it would take them a long time to notice that there is an overarching dynamic that is going to affect them if they don’t let go of their tree. (Tyler K.)

They don’t like to correct people than they are wrong, so always let things slide.(JC)

They can easily fade away if placed in a position that appears tactical. Tend to be short-sighted. (Ryan V.)

Read more on STO leadership here … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/?s=Strategic+leadership

STO LEADERSHIP & Your leadership style under pressure: leaders have a fallback style when under pressure – how to change it.

Your leadership style under pressure

by Bob Whitesel
I’ve become convinced that leaders have a fallback behavior on which they rely when they are uncertain, conflicted and/or under pressure.

Read more at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/3-cs-of-leadership/

STO LEADERSHIP & Are you a general or a colonel? What characterizes your leadership style? #video

What characterizes your leadership style? Dr. Bob Whitesel, professor of Christian Ministry and Missional Leadership at Wesley Seminary, discusses two leadership styles that are also found in the military. How will different leadership styles implement the goals and vision of your church and ministry? (Excerpted from the Society For Church Consulting’s Church Staffing Summit 2015.)


https://www.biblicalleadership.com/videos/are-you-a-general-or-a-colonel/

STO LEADERSHIP & Learning from your leadership style: Are you a shepherd, a visionary or a combination of both? #video #SocietyForChurchConsultingSummit

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 1/15/17.

Are you a shepherd, a visionary or a combination of both? Dr. Bob Whitesel, professor of Christian Ministry and Missional Leadership at Wesley Seminary, talks about his leadership style and the pros and cons he found along the way. (Excerpted from The Society For Church Consulting’s Church Staffing Summit 2015.)

Video: Learning from your leadership style

Are you a shepherd, a visionary or a combination of both?

Watch more at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/videos/video-what-my-wife-taught-me-about-leadership/

Speaking hashtags: #TransformationalLeadershipConference

MARRIAGE & What my wife taught me about leadership #BiblicalLeadershipMagazine #video

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 2/6/17.

Everyone is a mixture of various leadership styles. Hear Bob Whitesel share what his marriage unveiled about how different leaders approach decisions and even God. How could different leadership styles complement your church’s team? (Excerpted from the Society For Church Consulting’s Church Staffing Summit 2015.)

Video: What my wife taught me about leadership

Hear Bob Whitesel share what his marriage unveiled about how different leaders approach decisions and even God.

3-STRand LEADERSHIP & A video introduction & tools to discover your mix of 3 leadership traits.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/25/17.

(Click the following link for a short, self-scoring questionnaire to discover your 3-STRand leadership mix: https://churchhealthwiki.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/3-strand-leadership-questionnaire-c2a9bobwhitesel-fillable.pdf)

3-STRand Leadership (Strategic-Tactical-Relational traits) is a meta-model of leadership I have adapted/applied to ministry leadership. Formerly I labeled this STO Leadership for strategic-tactical-operational, the terms used by military leaders. Most leadership colleagues/students find the concept of 3-STRand Leadership (Strategic-Tactical-Relational) very helpful.  For a brief introduction …

A) Take a look at these introductory videos:

https://www.biblicalleadership.com/videos/are-you-a-general-or-a-colonel/

https://www.biblicalleadership.com/videos/do-you-have-a-no-man-on-your-team/

B) Read this short explanation of the three traits of leaders: Strategic-Tactical-Relational here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/sto-leadership-an-overview-are-you-a-shepherd-or-a-visionary-or-a-little-of-both/

C) Read about the different names authors have used interchangeably with Strategic-Tactical-Relational here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/sto-leadership-alternative-names-for-strategic-tactical-operational-leadership-styles/

D) Then read the “Questions and Answers About 3-STRand Leadership” at this link: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/teamwork-my-answers-to-questions-about-sto-leaders-strategic-tactical-operational/

E) Finally, take the questionnaire to find which is your dominant and sub-dominant leadership traits. Then give it to your team.  The questionnaire is available FREE here: 

LEAD 600 LEAD600 STO GCRN #Kingswood2018 3-STRand STRand #ThinkTankOH #TTIN #ThinkTankIN #STRand #3-STRand STR STRand 3-STRand

VISION & What Makes a Visionary Leader #Video @BobWhitesel #ChurchCentral

What makes a visionary leader?

May 4, 2017 | by Bob Whitesel

 

Watch the video at https://www.churchcentral.com/videos/video-what-makes-a-visionary-leader/

Bob Whitesel gives historical background to the term strategic leader.Explore the characteristics of this leadership and think about who models these attributes on your church’s team. (Excerpted from the Society For Church Consulting’s Church Staffing Summit 2015.)

#STO STO leadership

 

STO Leadership & A Comparison Created by @WesleySeminary Leadership Students

To understand principles, a contrast/comparison chart addresses higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and gives a visual representation.  The contrast/comparison chart below was created by my current LEAD 600 students.

STRATEGIC LEADERS

Positive: They see a need and future and are dreamers with vision and creativity. (Doug B.)
Positive: Have a purpose or goal that they are working towards with passion. (Tyler K.)
Positive: always see the big picture, you can see the positive that could be accomplished.(JC)
Positive: Seem to have a vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)


Negative: They have a vision, but limited idea of how to get there. (Doug B.)
Negative:  May not simultaneously share appreciation of current state, demoralizing operational leaders.  Makes all feel like what they’re                                currently pouring themselves into isn’t good.  (Tyler K.)
Negative: are not sure of the steps to take to get them to where want to go. (JC)
Negative: They don’t always know how to accomplish the vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)

TACTICAL LEADERS

Positive: They can budget, plan, chart, graph and figure out the steps to accomplish the vision. (Doug B.)
Positive: Always coming up with ideas, which she also carried out (Christie W.)
Positive : Are able to work out the steps to implement the plan.(JC)
Positive: They are great at planning and organizing.  They like to take ownership. (Ryan V.)


Negative: They are good planners, but not always the best at rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. (Doug B.)
Negative: The only negative aspect of the person’s excitement was that sometimes everything had to go her way because she thought it                                 was the best plan. (Christie W.)
Negative: have a hard time working with the people to put those steps in place. (JC)
Negative: They are not good with new things. They like to be left alone in order to accomplish the task ahead. (Ryan V.)

OPERATIONAL LEADERS

Positive: When given a task and a plan, they will “get it done!” (Doug B.)
Positive:  Acts as a servant out of love for Christ and others because they believe what they are doing matters in the big picture. (Tyler K.)
Positive: are excellent at billing relationships. (JC)
Positive: They are caring and willing to jump right in to help. (Ryan V.)


Negative: They tend to focus on the immediate task at hand and sometimes fail to see the bigger picture or future. (Doug B.)
Negative:  Stares at a tree and misses the rest of the forest.  The rest of the forest may be “burning” or unhealthy and it would take them                                a long time to notice that there is an overarching dynamic that is going to affect them if they don’t let go of their tree. (Tyler K.)
Negative: don’t like to correct people than they are wrong, so always let things slide.(JC)
Negative: They can easily fade away if placed in a position that appears tactical. Tend to be short-sighted. (Ryan V.)

Read more on STO leadership here … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/?s=Strategic+leadership

3-STRand Leadership & Alternative Names for Strategic, Tactical & Relational Leadership Styles

(Click the following link for a short, self-scoring questionnaire to discover your 3-STRand leadership mix: https://churchhealthwiki.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/3-strand-leadership-questionnaire-c2a9bobwhitesel-fillable.pdf)

Excerpted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007). The designation operational has been updated to relational for clarity.

Strategic Leadership Characteristics:

Strategic leadership is “future directed,”[i]” strategic leaders often want people to move forward, and thus they are the first to start moving in new directions. Historian Martin Marty said they “are extremely sensitive to where people are, but are not content to leave them there.”[ii]

Other names for strategic leaders are:

  1. Visionaries (George Barna,[iii] Leith Anderson[iv] and Phil Miglioratti[v]).
  2. Role 1 Leaders (Phil Miglioratti[vi]).
  3. “Top management” (John Wimber, Eddie Gibbs[vii]).
  4. “Strong, authoritative, directive pastoral leadership” (Wagner[viii]).
  5. Upper-level Management (John Kotter[ix]).
  6. Sodality leadership, which is described as “vision setter, goal setter, strong leader, visionary, upper management” (Ralph Winter[x]).

Tactical Leadership Characteristics:

Tactical leadership is an integrated skill. The tactical leader weds the past, the present and the future to move the church ahead. The tactical leader grasps the strategic leader’s vision of the future, but the tactical leader enjoys integrating these future plans into the ongoing and present life of the church. Tactical leaders also relish the planning process. They set timelines and allocate duties. They are delgators in the truest sense of the word. They should not be confused with relational leaders who do the work themselves. The tactical leader delegates fully, but then carefully evaluates the results.

And thus, tactical leaders are often pen and pencil (or stylus and PDA) people, who make copious notes as strategic leader expounds upon the future. Tactical leaders create spreadsheets, flowcharts, diagrams and designate work teams. Tactical leaders know who to bring big long-term projects down into easy, doable steps.

Thus, tactical leaders are the needed go-between to connect strategic leaders who grasp the big-picture, and relational leaders who get things done. Everyone appreciates tactical leaders, but regrettably they are usually outnumbered in our churches by strategic leaders and relational leaders. Thus, the organization suffers.

Other names for tactical leaders are:

  1. Administrators (Phil Miglioratti[i]).
  2. Role Two Leaders (Phil Miglioratti [ii]).
  3. Middle-level management (Martin Butler and Robert Herman[iii]).
  4. “Middle management” (John Wimber/Eddie Gibbs[iv] and John Kotter[v]).
  5. “Enables others to achieve goals” (Richard Hutcheson[vi]).
  6. Problem solvers (Gary Yukl[vii]).
  7. Modality leadership, which is described as “enabler, team builder, ally, implementer” (Ralph Winter).[viii]

Relational (sometimes called Operational) Leadership Characteristics:

Relational leaders have the knowledge, skill, relational abilities and dedication to get a job done. Once the parameters are defined and they see how their task fits into the bigger-picture (they are helped in this by the tactical leader), the relational leader can accomplish almost anything. Anthropologist Margaret Mead observed, “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [i] And, thus the contribution of the relational leader is critical to the change process.

Relational leaders often love their job so much, that they do not see themselves “moving out” of this role in the foreseeable future.[ii]

But, if the relational leader does not have the go-between of a tactical leader, the strategic leader’s vision may be too imprecise to motivate the relational leader. Thus, we see once again while all three types of leadership are needed, but it is the glue that the go-between tactical leader provides that helps the relational leader move the strategic leader’s vision forward.

Other names for relational leaders are:

  1. Workers (Phil Miglioratti[iii]).
  2. Role Three Leaders (Phil Miglioratti[iv]).
  3. Foremen (John Wimber, Eddie Gibbs[v]).

Download the chapter here: book-bw-excerpt-cr-change-reaction-chpt-2-sto-leaders-dr-whitesel

Strategic Leadership Footnotes

[i] Popular attestation, http://www.quoteworld.org/quotes/8891

[ii] Phil Miglioratti, “Putting Your Laymen When They Will Do the Most Good,” op. cit., p. 146

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] ibid.

[v] Eddie Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth, op. cit., pp. 380, 381.

Tactical Leadership Footnotes

[i] Phil Miglioratti, “Putting Your Laymen When They Will Do the Most Good,” op. cit., p. 146

[ii] ibid.

[iii] D. Martin Butler and Robert D. Herman, “Effective Ministerial Leadership,” Nonprofit Management and Leadership (1999), 9:229-239.

[iv] Eddie Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth, op. cit., pp. 380, 382-383.

[v] John Kotter, A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management, op. cit.. Kotter muddies the water a bit, by making a imprecise distinction between leadership and management. Kotter would agree with this author, that there are strategic leaders and tactical leaders. However, Kotter calls what strategic leaders do: “leadership.” And he labels what tactical leaders do as: “management.” While it is laudable that Kotter is trying to help distinguish between strategic and tactical leadership, the widespread use of the terms “leadership” and “management” probably mean they are too popular to now be more narrowly defined. Thus, Kotter’s goal is good, to distinguish between strategic and tactical leaders, but his terminology is probably too imprecise.

[vi] Richard Hutcheson, J., The Wheel Within the Wheel: Confronting the Management Crisis of the Pluralistic Church (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1979), p. 54.

[vii] Gary Yukl, Managerial Practices Survey (Albany, New York: Gary Yukl and Man Associates, 1990).

[viii] C. Peter Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth, op. cit., pp. 141-165.

Relational Leadership Footnotes

[i] H. Ozbekhan, “Toward a General Theory of Planning,” in E. Jantsch, ed., Perspective in Planning (Paris, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1969), p. 151.

[ii] Martin Marty, “Lutheran Scholar ‘Sprinkles Methodist Advice,” in The United Methodist Reporter (Dallas, Texas: 1986), March 28.

[iii] Christian pollster George Barna correctly emphasizes that for a strategic leader, a clear vision of the future is important. And, Barna in his popular book, The Power of Vision (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1992, p. 28, 38-39) describes a vision as “ a clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God, and based on an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstances.” Yet, the popularity of Barna’s definition may have clouded the picture, as strategically-orientated pastors latched on to this definition, which lacks the complimentary emphasis that it is tactical leadership that will get you there.

[iv] Leith Anderson, Dying for Change (Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany Publishing House, 1990), pp. 177-178.

[v] Phil Miglioratti, “Putting Your Laymen When They Will Do the Most Good,” The Pastor’s Church Growth Handbook (Pasadena, Calif.: Church Growth Press, 1979), p. 146.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Eddie Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Publishing House, 1981), pp. 380, 383-385.

[viii] C. Peter Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1984), p. 73-74.

[ix] John Kotter, A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1990).

[x] C. Peter Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth, op. cit., pp. 141-165.

Speaking hashtags: #STO.  3-STRand   STRand   #ThinkTankOH  #TTOH   #3-STR #3-STRand. #TTIN

OPERATIONAL LEADERSHIP & A Quiz to Help Discover if You Are a Shepherd (a leadership exercise)

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 12/15/15.

Are you a shepherd or a visionary (or a little of both)? 

Here is a posting explaining the difference: STO LEADERSHIP & An Overview: Are you a shepherd or a visionary (or a little of both)?

But what if you are primarily an operational-style of leader, the type we classify as “shepherd?”  Will you ever lead a large, growing ministry?

Yes you may, for I have seen many “shepherd leaders” who build leadership teams that lead large flocks. Read the excerpt from my book here to find out the difference (not for public distribution, so if you enjoy the chapter please support the publisher and author by purchasing a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CHANGE REACTION Chpt. 2 STO Leaders.

A Questionnaire to Discover If You are Primarily a Shepherd Leader

If you feel you are an “operational leader” more than a “strategic leader,” that is fine.

As I said above, I’ve seen many leaders of large ministries that are primarily operational leaders. This is because they build together a great team to lead the organization.

So how do you know if you are an operational (shepherd) leader?  How do you tell?

A good place to start is Randall Neighbour’s self-exam called the “Pastor’s Relational Survey.”  It came from the Appendix of his book, The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry.

You can complete Neighbour’s the “Pastor’s Relational Survey” self-exam in about 10 minutes here: “Pastor’s Relational Survey.”Take this short questionnaire and it may help you focus on your unique leadership gifts.

STO LEADERSHIP & An Overview: Are you a shepherd or a visionary (or a little of both)?

by Bob Whitesel, April 26, 2010.

(Click the following link for a short, self-scoring questionnaire to discover your 3-STRand leadership mix: https://churchhealthwiki.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/3-strand-leadership-questionnaire-c2a9bobwhitesel-fillable.pdf)

The word strategy comes from the Greek word for a military general: strategoi.  The generals of ancient Athens, led by the forward-thinking Pericles, undertook a grand building project to make Athens the cultural and political center of Greece. The Athenian generals’ strategy paid off, with beautiful buildings such as the Parthenon, making Athens the Greek capital.

In the military, the word “strategic” refers to the bigger-picture planning that is done before a before a battle begins.  Strategic leaders see the big picture, and envision outcomes before the battle commences.  They intuitively know what the results should be, even though they are not experts in getting there.  In the military, strategic leaders are generals, admirals, etc.

The strategic leader is akin to an artist.  He or she sees the dim outline of the future, perhaps a gleaming office tower or an eye-catching museum.  They can envision what it will look like once it is complete.  But, they seek only general forms, shapes and appearances.  They see the art and the results.

Let’s look at some typical characteristics that distinguish leaders in the church.  In my consultative work I have routinely witnessed that pastors can be drawn into the ministry by two competing roles.

1. The shepherd.  Many pastors enter the ministry due to a desire to help fellow humankind with a hands-on, relational, personal and mentoring type of leadership style.  This is analogous to the guidance of a shepherd, and is reflected in scriptures about nurture, care and cultivation such as in Isaiah 40:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  And, this is exemplified by Jesus who is described as “our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20).  Pastors drawn by this role often become relational leaders.

2. The visionary.  Pastors in this category have an overriding desire to make a significant impact for Christ and His kingdom.  They are impassioned by statements such as John 4:34-38, “’My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor’.”

Visionaries have what Church Growth researcher Win Arn called “church growth eyes … a developed characteristic of individuals and churches who have achieved a sensitivity to seeing possibilities….”   Pastors drawn by this leadership role usually become strategic leaders.

Often, pastors and church leaders have a mixture of the two roles, and may fluctuate between them.  However, it is important to note the dissimilar nature of these roles.  One seeks to build interpersonal camaraderie and intimacy, the other seeks to attain a physical forward-looking goal.

In the former, intimacy is the purpose, and in the latter the future goal is the purpose.  Which is needed? They both are, but the wise church leader will employ each as the circumstance warrants and as their abilities allow.

Pastors attracted to the ministry because of a vision to make a significant impact for Christ often exhibit strategic leadership.  And, they are often passionate about their work, for they see the depravity of humankind and they perceive how Christ provides the necessary answer.  They are often highly enthusiastic and energetic about reaching people for Christ.  This passion can sometimes be misconstrued as a fervor for growth, size or power.  And, such negative attributes can sneak in.  However, what customarily motivates these individuals is the picture they envision of many people coming to know Christ.

Strategic leaders are the first to notice that change is needed.  This is because they are always looking ahead.  To a degree, they live in the future better than the present. This means they can be frustrating to work with if not accompanied by the tactical leader.  Strategic leaders thus see the need for change, and love discussing the rationale and theories of change.  They are critical for the change process, for they look ahead and see where the church is going and needs to go.  But they are also frustrating for other leaders, because strategic leaders know what the results should look like, but they are weak at envisioning the step-by-step process.

Strategic leadership is “future directed.”  Strategic leaders often want people to move forward, and thus they are the first to start moving in new directions.  Historian Martin Marty said they “are extremely sensitive to where people are, but are not content to leave them there.”

ARTICLE is excepted with permission by ChurchCentral.com from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007), read the original article at http://www.churchcentral.com/blogs/are-you-a-strategic-leader.

DOWNLOAD the entire chapter here (not for public distribution, so if you enjoy the chapter please support the publisher and author by purchasing a copy): BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CHANGE REACTION Chpt. 2 STO Leaders

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether 3-STRand STRand #ThinkTankOH

3-STRand LEADERSHIP & A Questionnaire to Discover Your Leadership Mix

by Bob Whitesel D.Min, Ph.D., 1/4/08. Adapted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007.

Typically in our churches we have (three types of leaders):

Strategic Leaders.

They see the need and the future. They have a limited idea of how to get there, but they have been exposed to various models to accomplish change. However, strategic leaders do not typically have the patience to analyze, fine-tune, crunch-the-numbers, tweak, perfect, evaluate and adjust a strategy. Subsequently, strategic leaders often try to just apply (e.g. franchise) a strategy that has worked elsewhere. The strategic leader may purchase step-by-step manuals for relational leaders. And while this is a good starting place, because tactical leaders who can adjust the methodology for the church’s own unique scenario are not involved, the canned strategy is often abandoned with people saying “that doesn’t work here.” Again, the problem is not the strategic leaders or the relational leaders. They are both doing their jobs. The problem is created because an important linking and planning element of leaders is missing: the tactical leaders and their organizational skills.

Tactical Leaders

They then become our crucial … and missing link in effective change. If they are missing, change strategies are not adapted to the local context and the process is unorganized.  They are the key go-betweens among the strategic and relational leaders. Tactical leaders have the requisite skills of analysis, step-by-step planning, numbercrunching, and detail management to bring a change to fruition. This is the contribution of the tactical leaders.

Relational (formerly designated Operational) Leaders

In military jargon these are the “boots on the ground,” meaning the frontline workers who must adjust the tactics they are given. They are relational teams of workers, who derive much of their satisfaction from both their teammates and their visible accomplishments. Relational leaders may also volunteer to be tactical leaders, because relationships are so important to them they do not want to see the strategic leader in a quandary. They may say something like “Pastor, I know you are in a spot here. So I’ll help you out.” If a relational leader says this, interview that person and then if this relational leaders does not have the analytical, diagnostic and methodical skills to create and manage an elaborate plan, graciously decline their offer. To thrust relational leaders into tactical positions will frustrate them, and eventually due to their gracious and relational nature, they will quietly fade away from their failed tactical task.

Change is Difficult Because Tactical Leaders Are Missing

PreparingChange_Reaction_MdWhy then does change so often fail in congregations? It has been my observation that it is because strategic leaders (often pastors) try to orchestrate the tactical process. Often if a strategic leader in the role of a pastor or a department head tries to move the church forward with some change, the congregants will become frustrated because of a lack of precision in the plan. The plan to them will appear too nebulous and imprecise.

At the same time the strategic leader will expect the relationally-orientated leaders to create a plan. And though the relational leaders are the key to the success of the process, their emphasis upon relationships usually trumps their interest in the administrative details, budgeting, volunteer recruitment and evaluation that is required.

The answer is that change needs the critical link between strategic leader and relational leaders: tactical leadership. Therefore, to succeed with change, it is important that at the outset of this book the pastor look around him or her develop those tactical leaders who can map-out the change processes outlined in this book, and who will enjoy doing so.

Questions for Discovering YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE mix:

1. What kind of tasks do you enjoy?

(Circle only those letters that correspond to tasks you greatly enjoy.)

a.  Dreaming about the future.
b.  Preparing a budget.
c.  Getting to know a person you work with.
d.  Graphing on paper a new plan.
e.  Analyzing what when wrong with a past strategy.
f.   Creating a visual map of the planning process.
g.  Balancing your checkbook.
h.  Sharing about your family history.
i.   Reading books on new ideas.
j.   Attending seminars on creativity.
k.  Tackling a numerical problem.
l.    Reading books on history.
m.  Researching costs associated with a project.
n.   Creating a survey.
o.   Taking a survey.
p.   Leading under 12 people on a project.
q.   Recording the minutes of a meeting.
r.    Loading and adjusting new software on your computer.
s.   Designing ways to better communicate an idea.
t.    Relaxing by sharing with friends about hobbies.
u.   Relaxing by sharing with friends about what when wrong.
v.    Relaxing by dreaming with friends about new ideas.
w.   Working on a hobby with a few closer friends.
x.   You share your personal feelings easily with others.
y.   You share your new ideas easily with others.
z.   You like to get a job done with a minimum of fuss.

TOTAL BELOW:  For each letter you circled, put a check in the corresponding box below.  You may be primarily comfortable with a leader style associated with the box that contains the most checkmarks.

Relational Leaders most likely checked boxes: C, H, P, T, W, X, Z,

Tactical Leaders: B, D, E, F, G, K, M, N, Q, R, S, U

Strategic Leaders: A, I, J, L, O, V, Y

STO Leadership Questionaire TOTAL box copy

Adapted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007.  Download the entire chapter here >> BOOK BW EXCERPT CR Change Reaction Chpt.2 STO Leaders ©Dr.Whitesel

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether #SalvationCenterTX  #NewDirectionChurch STO STRand 3-STRand #STO  3-STRand   STRand   #ThinkTankOH  #TTOH   #3-STR #3-STRand. #TTIN

TACTICAL LEADERSHIP & The Best Managers Are Boring Managers (STO Leadership)

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This Harvard Business Review article cited research that managers who are stable and mature (i.e. typically thought of as ‘boring’) are the best middle managers. And, it points out that everyone as they mature becomes better at these attributes (I know I have). But it also supports something I’ve been saying for many years: that we often promote operational (i.e. relational) leaders into middle-manager roles. Such operational leaders are more attuned to one on one leadership and less attune to manage and develop the complex matrix of organizational behavior. For more on strategic – tactical – operational (STO) leadership see these articles. Then read this HBR article for verification and additional ideas.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/09/the-best-managers-are-boring-managers

STO LEADERSHIP & My Answers to Questions About 3-STRand Leaders: Strategic, Tactical & Relational

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/25/15.

I have written extensively on the importance of team building with complimentary leaders, including creating a questionnaire to help you find your leadership mix.  Called STO Leadership (Strategic, Tactical and Relational [previously I designated operational] Leaders) a student asked important deeper questions about it. Below are my answers which help expand (with his good questions) the importance of understanding Strategic-Tactical-Relational leadership.

Here are the questions from the student, with my answers embedded in them.

Student:  Do tactical leaders have to have equal or exceeding competency as the relational leaders they are leading in the given subject?  (I would lean toward, ‘no’)

Whitesel:  Tactical leaders are good at analysis, usually more than content. Thus, they enjoy balancing either bank statements or cultural/evangelical mandates.  Therefore, analysis trumps content, so no they do not have to have exceeding (or even equal competency) in a given subject with the leaders they are leading.

Student: I have a suspicion that strategic leaders are also not the best at developing new leaders.  Just last night someone on my board said, “we need to disciple these people, how are we going to do it?”  I just drew a blank.  She was right, but I didn’t know what to say.  Not because I didn’t want to do it – I just can’t figure the process.

Whitesel: Right, the process often is beyond the strategic leader’s skills. That is why strategic leaders need tactical leaders as their closest partners.

Student: I have attempted to employ some of these things (like holding volunteers accountable) and it blew up in a huge way.  The people may not have thought me ‘wrong’ but they did think me ‘mean.’  In a family church structure – peace is more important than production.

Whitesel: Strategic leaders are not good at holding people accountable (neither are tactical leaders).  For example, a strategic leader on a board may say, “Joe and Mary aren’t around much anymore and they seem dissatisfied.  I think we should ask them to resign from the administrative board if they are not going to support our mission.” The tactical leader on the board replies, “They haven’t given money in a month, and I’ve noticed they’ve been absence four out of the past five Sundays.”  As a result the board votes to ask for Joe and Mary’s resignation.  What is happening is that a relational leader is missing, to be the go-between between the S and T leaders and the volunteers.

Student: This read helps me put people like Nouwen into perspective.  I have a hunch, and I may be completely wrong, that he is a strategic leader.  When I read his writings it seems he has a difficult time prescribing process and practicality.  Wonderful matters and paints a beautiful picture of the Christian in his book “In the Name of Jesus” – but what really does he want people to do?

Whitesel: Exactly, at a conference I was listening to a very strategic thinker-author one day and another one the next.  Their speeches are largely one “catch phrase” after another.  I don’t think many pastors were getting ideas that would help back home.

Student: To verify what Whitesel shared about a strong focus on strategic leadership to the neglect of tactical, I checked out the DVD’s to the 2007 leadership summit put on by Hybels and gang.  The messages from 2007 include the following:  “Vision to Die For,” “Strategy and Leadership,” “Living for the Greater Good,” “Building Humanity,” and “Whatever You Do, Inspire Me.”  These are all strategy/vision appealing messages.  I think those that are more tactical oriented are just not popular by attendees, and they are presented by speakers who are brought back perennially.  I know I have left feeling more inspired than equipped.

Whitesel:  You summarized it well, “more inspired than equipped.”  😉

STO 3-STRand STRand #ThinkTankOH

STO LEADERSHIP & Are You a Strategic, Tactical or Operational Leader? These Stories Will Help You Find Out.

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/11/15.

In a previous post (and in my book “Preparing for Change Reaction”) I explained that leaders usually fail because they don’t surround themselves with leaders whose gifts complement theirs.  There are three basic “meta-categories” of leaders: strategic leaders, tactical leaders and operational leaders (see this short 12 minute video for an introduction).  While almost everyone has a mixture, usually one dominants you.  Click here >> BOOK BW EXCERPT CR Change Reaction Chpt.2 STO Leaders ©Dr.Whitesel for a questionnaire (p. 12) to find your mix if you have not already done so.

Then read these stories of the missionaries below. They illustrate that missionaries too have a dominant leadership gift.  Here first is a story from Frances Chan’s book about Rachel.  Read her story and then tell us what kind of leader does she appear to be?

When she was 18 she traveled the world with a wealthy woman, who promised to make her her heiress if she would keep her company where ever she went, but she turned it down. Later she became a bible translator in South Africa, but developed a love of the language of the Waorani Indians in Ecuador.

The Waorani Indians were notorious for spearing to death any outsider who came close, they were not open at all. Rachel’s brother was actually killed by the Indians earlier. But Rachel felt compelled to bring the gospel to them.

Eventually she met a Waorani woman and gained her trust and was able to integrate safely into the tribe. She brought the gospel to the Indians and changed their culture from one of hatred and revenge to that of love and healing.

They trusted her so much they gave her the Waorani name of Nimu which means star.

Eventually she translated the New Testament into their language and  when she died they said of her, “she called us brothers, She told us how to believe. Now she is in heaven…God is building a house for all of us and that is where we will see Nimu again.” (Crazy Love, p. 154-155).

I’ve often noted that missionaries such as Rachel have a type of leadership that we often overlook in North America due to the more exciting leadership types.  So, let me ask a question of my readers.

What kind of leader does Rachel appear to be: strategic, tactical or operational?  I know she has a bit of all three, but what one primarily motivates her and would she do all the time if she could?

Next, here is a story about Dr. Donald McGavran and his early missionary work as a young man just starting out in the missionary vocation.  Read this description by Stephanie Folkringa (Wesley Sem. Student, March 2011), and tell us what kind of leader Donald McGavran appears to be?

PHOTO McGavran Youg & with a pick“When McGavran returned to India for the second time, he served as the executive secretary of mission, where he worked with 80 missions, 5 hospitals, high schools, and primary schools.  McGavran became the superintendent of a leprosy home and hospital.  He became an expert on the Hindi language and translated the Gospel into the Chattisgarhi dialect.”

So, what kind of leader do you think Dr. McGavran was primarily: strategic, tactical or operational?  I know, like Rachael, he was a bit of all three (as are we). But, from this description of this early ministry, what primarily style of leadership did Dr. McGavran appear to enjoy the most: strategic, tactical or operational?

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether

CHANGE & The Difference Between Change and Transformation

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Transformation and change are two different things. Change involves adjusting programs, people and tactics. While transformation involves reinventing the entire organization. Therefore transformation involves guiding an organizational culture into a new and healthier culture. Many leaders fail because they don’t recognize the difference and the different tools (below) required for each.

Change involves, ‘making the business case, building a coalition of leaders, getting early results, engaging stakeholders, executing with discipline’ and monitoring/adjusting results’ (p. 2-3)…

‘Transformation is another animal altogether. Unlike change management, it doesn’t focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly the overall goal of transformation is not just executed to find change but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future. It’s much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. It entails much higher risk. And even if successful change management leads to the execution of certain initiatives within a transformation portfolio, the overall transformation could still fail’ (p. 3).

Transformation therefore involves, ‘flexible and dynamic coordination of resources, stronger collaboration across boundaries, and communication in the midst of uncertainty’ (p. 4).

I have made the case in the ‘Strategic Management’ chapter of the Wright and Smith (eds.) book, The Church Leaders’ MBA’ (Ohio Christian Univ. Press, 2009) that transforming churches means:

  1. Getting multiple cultures to work together
  2. In one church
  3. To reach and unite multiple community cultures.

This creates a healthy church with multiple sub-congregations respecting one another and working together for greater impact (steps to this can be found in Whitesel, ‘The Healthy Church,’ Wesleyan Publishing House, 2012).

Thus church transformation brings the Good News to a larger segment of the community – while also reconciling/uniting disparate community cultures.

For more on the important difference between change and transformation read this Harvard Business Review article.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/01/we-still-dont-know-the-difference-between-change-and-transformation