Transactional vs Transformational

From YWAMKnowledgeBase

Uofn globe mini.png

Transactional Versus Transformational Leadership [citation needed]

Tom Bloomer

One way can read the Bible is the question of which leader will be followed in the universe. In the garden Adam and Eve were drawn away from God's leadership and lost the authority over creation. Even after Israel was set free they were tempted even to go back to slavery because of their need for security and onions. It went over into 1 Samuel 8. The people rejected God from being their king. Samuel warned them --- the king would take your sons and daughters for army and service. And take your crops and yet they said they wanted that sort of leadership for two reasons. So the king can go out before us in war and so we can be like the other nations. Security and conformity. Easier to walk in that security and conformity rather than living in the terrifying liberty of the Spirit of God.

Jesus talked about two types of leadership. These passages strike me. We in YWAM talk about two types of leaders --- usually visionary and administration. But that doesn't give us the answers we need --- it is a dead end. I want to submit another model from my leadership studies. If we are going to look for models in social science and business we need to be careful because they are not biblical. If you are going to sup with the devil use a long spoon. This we must do if we dip into the social sciences. But this was a Scotsman, James MacGregor Burns.

Up until the 70s there has been transactional leadership based on power, dunamis. Works by force. The old authoritarian model that gives the workers a direction to follow. The engineer who sets the jobs. The worker says he will contract to do a certain amount of work in a certain type in a certain type of way. The boss says he will give a certain situation, money, identity, security. In a religious organisation that doesn't pay it still works in the same way. They join and get the opportunity to work through some things. Can stay on in the organisation and work through your problems --- strong leader, hierarchy, opportunity to get up the organisation but if they are there out of need they will want to get their identity from the leader. That is a transactional relationship even when no money is involved --- reciprocal but authoritarian.

But there is another model that works through the influence of the leader --- gives a vision and acts like a politician. The idea is that the politician serves through the agreement of the followers. Proposes a life programme based on our values. If you have similar values come and join. It is transformational. The work holds out the hope. Based on commitment and not contract. Whole idea is freedom.

It comes down to the view of what is a human being.

Transactional --- the transactional company or church or Christian organisation. Emphasis on authority, many rules, compliance. Lower in the hierarchy treated differently. Different privilege, mode of address, reserved parking, bigger offices. Leadership by announcement. Leaders are not really accountable. This is tricky because every leader in the world feels they are accountable. Everybody knows how to talk about accountability but how to do it. Vision is to manipulate people --- much emphasis on job description, not variety. Each person must do one particular thing. Loyalty is more important than truth. It is important to inspire loyalty. Both Loyalty and truth are biblical values but loyalty is stressed more. Those that tell the truth have to leave the organisation and that tells something to those who remain. Model is the military with the exception of accountability.

Transformational business, church etc --- firstly it is visionary. In business they are studying vision more than the church and defined it carefully. See that people need a vision to follow. What does that mean.

Definition --- Steps toward a vision.

Get it.
Create meaning for it, a model, a metaphor, an image and handles to get hold of. Very few can get hold of a pure vision.
Enrol people in it.
Must deepen trust --- often fail in this in YWAM. We share it in such a way that people lose trust.
Focus on the essentials --- so that they can get concrete results.

A bit more on vision. I think we use it wrongly --- everything to us is a vision. The leader has a vision for a new lawn mower. It was a good idea but it wasn't a vision. Because of some of our problems with visionaries we get allergic to the idea and some break down and cry when they hear it because they have been manipulated by it.

What is a vision that comes from God? It comes from the vision God gave in the last book of the Bible. Any vision given by God comes from there and leads there. Vision of the lamb on the throne and nations discipled. It is where doing and .... meet. The ultimate community development project, the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. If yours leads to that you have got part of it. It is what God wants to do in your nation and the leader shares an image of it. And it works powerfully on us. We are created to respond to that vision and when it is used for manipulation it is very hurtful. The vision will motivate, give identity, unite.... That is why we are so dispersed in YWAM --- we don't have a big enough vision. We don't have a big enough vision --- the nations united before the throne. If the vision isn't big enough the leaders will have to struggle with motivation through teaching but need to come along and help the vision. Otherwise workers get under extreme pressure.

It is visionary and liberating --- high on trust, personal initiative. Much encouragement to go for it. Creates diversity and fulfilment. We want the fulfilment of our people. We need the apostolic vision because if the goal is only fulfilment people will become selfish and we get more people coming into YWAM to get personal fulfilment.

Creativity and diversity is fostered --- young people come and stay. Businesses struggle to keep creative people in the organisation. These creative people will not work in a transactional organisation. Prefer to work for much less money in a transformational organisation.

Idea is not obedience but to apply principles with initiative. The leader is not superior but like anyone else. Many business have done away with bigger offices, parking spaces, information if available to all. [I wonder if he has read Maverick.] All participate, structure is de-emphasised. The most admired organisation in the world lately is General Electric. The CEO emphasises boundary-lessness. If you can work outside your boundaries you can be promoted if not, you will be fired. He has added $20 billion in the last few years.

This describes YWAM at our best.

Another Bible passage. Matthew 25:25 "It shall not be so among you." Can see in the gospels a leadership training model. His disciples didn't get it --- who is having the best seat, who is the greatest among us, can we call down fire from heaven --- a transactional view of things. When the devil came to tempt Jesus it was a transactional challenge. "All you have to do is worship me...." The devil always challenges transactionally. That is why we say, "Sell you soul to the devil." The problem is we think this way and think our relationship with God will be that way. We begin with a transactional relationship with God. Obey me and I will bless you, disobey me and these curses will come upon you. One of the worst things to do as a parent is when they break out of this and become an adult the child says I will wash your car if you give me $5. We have an unspoken contract with our children --- we have treated you like so and you must respond rightly and that doesn't include nose rings. Cannot stay at that level. Transactions are based on fear, reward, external motivation. Perfect love cast out all fear, cannot be any fear in love, cannot be any transactions in love. When something incomprehensible happens --- we thought that if we served God we would get things --- money, blessing, ministry and then it doesn't happen and we wonder what happened with our contract. God doesn't do contracts and we always want to put our relationship back onto contract. Can put it back on YWAM --- why didn't YWAM do this! Who are they talking about? "YWAM used me." --- he was the national director. It is hurt based on an unspoken understood contract. We didn't expect to be treated by YWAM like that. Didn't know we had a contract until it was broken.

A lot of the Bible is God trying to break that contract. Jesus telling the disciples how hard it is to get saved --- impossible. Peter says what do we get then? We left all, what do we get? What do we get? We see our contemporaries buying houses and getting it all. He said, Peter, you 12 will get to sit on the 12 thrones and judge the nation of Israel and whatever you have given up you will get back a hundred fold but it isn't like you think, no contract. The last shall be first.... It is different to what you thought. I will give you everything but it is not based on a contract. God worked with Abraham for a generation until he could call him Abraham and then when he asked him for his son there wasn't even a question. They had been Middle Eastern bargainers. Isn't there some of that in us. God doesn't do contracts. There are guarantees but they are eternal.

The devil came and accused Job of serving God out of a transaction. "He only serves you because he gets the blessings." Wealth goes, health goes. Ever wonder why some Christians get sick and no amount of prayer heals them. He discusses with friends --- he did what was right and goes over the conditions of his contract and asks for an explanation if not restoration. God never tells God why but tells us at the beginning of the book. Job came to the place where he worshipped --- the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. We have no contract but He made a promise, a covenant that He will honour. Jesus didn't come to pay our debts. We should be judged and in hell if God operated on the basis of God's justice. God is not an accountant keeping track. He did not pay our debts. He cancelled the decrees set against us by nailing it to the cross. It wasn't a money deal. Cannot relate to God on the basis of the cross. He sees the contracts cancelled by His son on the cross and will not relate on that basis. He loved so much he sacrificed.

Loren and Darlene have emphasised these things through different teaching --- Generosity --- if you understand God's love can only give. Hospitality --- stay on the YWAM base and not pay. Otherwise it is hostelry. And something else.

We are under pressure to give up this transformational philosophy. We are being pushed by to become transactional. They should be shot.

When I was doing this research interviewing the GLT.... God has given us the opportunity which we have not yet lost. We can become the first global transformational organisation. We are the first ones to say that. Anyone can become a missionary. When we first said that there were no third worlders and put up with women because there weren't enough men. Loren in most of these areas was first --- a child, any nation, any age, no education at all. When we talk about paying salaries and set so many conditions on people to attend schools and become staff members we are on the cutting edge of the 50s. Some of our bases are going back to the past. We are having trouble getting workers.... Young people have incredible radar for two things --- a religious spirit (that's why they don't go to church) and a transactional organisation where there are many rules and much hierarchy. Authoritarianism increases as you go down the organisational chart. Get a friend to try to join your base and read the what it takes to join and the read the notices. In times past people wanted to join in droves. If we have only vision for one area of the nation what will someone do? We don't have room for them. We need the broad vision to release them all.

Jesus was the first transformational leader who set in motion a world-wide transformational movement. It is our destiny. If we aren't visionary enough He can change us. If we are transactional He can change us.

Response --- need to ask if I have allowed my leadership become transactional. Let God speak to us. Write down those things that are aspects of your leadership that have become transactional.

Personally --- I need to review how I relate to the children. How do I relate to Matthew? Could I go over these notes with them. Yes, Lord. And ask them to identify my failings.

Dialogue with Tom.

Can I park on the grass now?

What about post modern youth? What about dualism in young people.

We have been affected by worldly models. Directive and non-directive. Can't really tell people to do anything is non-biblical. Jesus was very directive in His leadership. There are laws and consequences. It is the 70s over again. Need structure. Law without consequence is mere advice. Need to realise that many of the young people need structure, laws and consequences. Our goal in giving them the structures is to release them as soon as possible otherwise we trap them in it. They may be very disorded and need the order. They begin to grow and we don't release them from it.

We attract them through vision and love and tell them it will be tough. We don't hide the cost of discipleship. Need to start with pearl of great price and then the cost of discipleship. [Bit like sports --- it costs.] Young people will rise to it.