Transformational Leaders or Paragon Leaders?


New models, Capacity-building, Change Leadership with PEP, and Workforce Professional Development

Achieving improvements in overall effectiveness and efficiency resulting in improved performance, result and outcomes will be among the most pressing challenges facing C-P/NP’s as transformational organizations. America’s voluntary sector faces numerous challenges, but when considering the future, they can be seen broadly as including:
New self-renewing models and methods.

Continuous rebirth and improvement for voluntary organizations.

Embracing change that keeps them aligned with their operating environments and fulfilling their expanding public service missions – is a key to achieving and sustaining Effectiveness, Efficiency and Transformed Organizations.

Capacity-building resulting mission readiness and public purpose fulfillment.

Linking capacity-building to improved mission and public purpose fulfillment. C-NPO’s must increase their capacity in ways that are directed linked to outcomes and results demonstrating improved mission and public purpose accomplishment.

Change Leadership with PEP.

Broaden our change leadership construct and model to focus on the realities and variables of: Purpose and Environment, in addition to Person (PEP). Develop management practices based on the knowledge that the variable mix of actions and traits needed by successful leaders depends not only on Personal attributes and behaviors, but also on two other major factors, including: Change (dimensions and complexities needed to advance the organization toward mission fulfillment) and the Environment/Situation (the organizational setting, environment and situation).

Workforce Professional Preparation, Development and Training

The ability of the voluntary sector to meet increasing demands for effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and transparency (E/EAT) will depend on the sector’s willingness and ability to substantially increase the number of its management-trained executives (now only approximately one in five), and to align its professional development and education programs to focus on providing the research validated competencies identified as contributing most significantly to improved and sustained organizational performance.

We urgently need greatly expanded management education and training opportunities for the voluntary sector workforce. Moreover, these opportunities should be framed and focused on professional education, training and development that uses learning and practice environments to help practitioners acquire those competencies that management research and practice have identified as most useful and contributory to achieving – and sustaining – results and performance improvements reflecting improved Effectiveness, Efficiency and Transformation – all of which will be required in ever greater measure to meet emerging national Quality of Life needs.

[Author’s Note: These perspectives were offered not as a criticism of current leadership theories, the great majority of which do make important contributions to our understanding of this phenomenon.

An important goal is to urge renewed effort to advance and/or integrate effective leadership theory and practice to help meet the need to improve overall sector performance and delivery by many thousands of charitable-philanthropic voluntary organizations of vital human services that determine our overall quality of life.
It does suggest that we explore the potential for more accurate and effective change leadership theory and practice by widening our overall perspective from one dimension to multi-dimensional – to more robustly include in our meta-leadership construct, Purpose, Environment/Situation and Personal. A more function-based, multi-dimensional perspective of leadership focused heavily on purpose and outcome, as well as personal attributes and behaviors, is suggested to encourage new or reemphasized directions in research and management theory development to help us better understand leadership variables and their interactions based on a multidimensional context.]

Next: References & Resources

Suggested citation:

Connors, T. D. (2019). Transformational leaders or paragon leaders? In Transformational organizations: NPO crossroads. Retrieved from BelleAire Press, LLC:

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