Next let’s consider two real life examples of organizations that had the presence of both transformational and servant leadership, and were integrating the use of both styles into the life of the organization.
In one organization, the CEO was a servant leader primarily yet showed a strong value for transformational leadership. This organization weathered the storms of a struggling economy even in the midst of great hits to their industry. Because of this servant leader CEO, this organization offered a warm, friendly, and supportive climate. Thus, employees tended to remain with this organization until retirement. At the same time, the CEO realized the lack of and need for vision, and therefore brought in support from the outside to help the executive team innovate, create, and cast an improved vision. The CEO’s appreciation for transformational leadership, awareness of the impact of its lacking within the organization, and willingness to get help to bring transformational leadership into the organization helped this organization to survive turbulent times.
The second organization was also experiencing chaotic times due to the economy as well as a recent succession. The original leader was a transformational leader yet the organization saw the need to bring balance into the culture by introducing a servant leader into it. The servant leader successor saw the need for transformational leadership to continue, especially in the midst of the great need for a new vision. Therefore the servant leader successor put together a team with both transformational and servant leadership skills. This team worked on recreating the organization. This servant leader played a significant role as a calming presence in the midst of turbulent times as well as during a time when organizational renewal was on the horizon.
Questions for interaction:
Have you experienced a leader or organization that was able to balance both transformational and servant leadership? If so, what was it like? If not, as you read the examples, what struck you about the balance and why? What additional insights do you have to share?
Next, read and respond to Part 4 to begin to see how to integrate the two styles in your leadership or organizational setting.