A Level of Leadership Beyond Transformational

What is the highest form of great leadership?


It’s a topic that many have thought, written, and taught about.  For many it’s an aspiration, a longing to be all God created, designed, and redeemed us to become in relationship with Him.


Most leadership theory describes two main approaches to leadership.  I’d like to invite you to consider a third, higher, type of leadership.


First, transactional leadership, the lowest from of leadership influence.  It sounds like this: “I’m the positional leader, you are the lower-down employee.  I give directions, you carry them out.  I compensate you for your job performance.  I can replace you whenever I choose.  Your value is linked to completing tasks for my benefit.”  Transactional leadership is often impersonal, demeaning, and short-lived in terms of any kind of effectiveness.  Yet, many choose to lead like this and too many choose to work for these kinds of leaders.


Second, transformational leadership, which is often considered the highest kind of leadership.  Usually it means an inspiring, visionary leader who rallies people to a cause in order to bring sought-for change. The leader makes sure people, resources, and strategy are aligned in a way that brings a dream to reality. Transformational leadership is indeed powerful, but may not be personal.  People may be inspired to accomplish a great task, but not know how to fulfil their own sense of destiny.  Transformational leaders are rare.  Many organizations sing a similar refrain: “If we only had more leaders…”


TransforMissional leadership takes us another level beyond transformational leadership that allows people and ministries to soar like an eagle. 


At its eagle heart is the eternal reality that every person is created in the image of God and infinitely valuable.  “TransforMissional” combines two words that form the wings of the eagle—transformation and mission.  They can also be likened to the Great Commandment-–loving God with everything we are so we can be transformed to be like Him and the Great Commission—joining Him in His great redemptive mission in our world.  The eagle doesn’t fly in its own strength—it catches the updraft and rides the wind!  Similarly, transformissional leaders know they get their power from riding dependently on the supernatural wind of the Holy Spirit.


What elevates transformissional leadership to a level above all other styles?


TransforMissional leaders start with people—honoring and cherishing them as a sacred trust from God.  They are intentional about investing in each person so they can fit and flourish—being transformed so they can fulfil God’s unique calling for them. 


TransforMissional leaders are also purposeful about helping individuals find their place of greatest contribution to God’s redemptive mission in our world.  TransforMissional leaders equip, encourage, and empower others for a cause greater than any one of us.  When one wins, we all do.


Transformation + mission becomes transformissional.  The whole Body of Christ/Team of God is involved, not just a select few.  Every person can become a transformissional person of influence in their own way.  Every organization can become healthy and life-giving in this way. We’ll talk about how that can happen in later posts.



Coach Yourself Forward

1. When you think about how you influence others, which style do you most resemble? Why?

2. What is one simple way you can move toward being more of a transformissional leader?