Transformational Leaders or Paragon Leaders?

Leadership Theory: Adapt, Not Adopt

Clearly, we have not yet developed The Recipe for Leadership. We may even be making things worse if we continue to treat the Leadership construct as one dimension, and loading it down with layers of attributes and characteristics, many of which overlap. We do not yet have enough understanding of the variables – or their relationships – at work in bringing about successful organizational change to be able to consistently “replicate the phenomena.” We are realizing that Leadership theories, approaches and behaviors cannot be adopted, they must be adapted to the organization’s Purpose, Environment and the Personal traits of those responsible for Change.

Not Management vs. Leadership, but interactive and complementary

“Management” includes a broad range of controlling and directing activities undertaken to sharpen organizational effectiveness, improve organizational efficiencies, and sustain an organizational culture that embraces change and aspires to excellence.

Nonprofit organizations increasingly operate in a challenging strategic environment that demands, on peril of survival itself, consequential decisions by their managers. Guillot (2003) sums up today’s typical organizational operating environment with the acronym VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). The competing values framework is how Edwards and Yankey (2006) illustrate the complex decision making and managerial skills required, illustrating changing criteria for organizational effectiveness in four sectors of activity.

Leadership, originally meaning to “go forth” (Morris, 1981), is the process and set of behaviors used to bring about change, typically within an organization, and typically to improve organizational performance. Clearly, the process of leadership “includes influencing people to meet organizational goals and objectives” (Edwards &Yankey, 2006, p. 16).

Next: Management and Leadership: Conclusions, Consequences and New Directions

Suggested citation:

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

© Copyright 2019 BelleAire Press, LLC