The Fast Lane to Transformational Leadership

Guest Writer:

Rev. Matt Seadore
Executive Director of Ministry & Mission
North Avenue Presbyterian Church


Six years ago, my family moved to Atlanta from a small city in California. If there was one thing we were not prepared for upon our arrival it was the traffic. We live in Clarkston and I commute into Midtown. I avoid the interstate at all costs. It is just too unpredictable. One day it takes me 25 minutes, and the next day it takes over an hour. An unpredictable commute becomes unbearable.

In Tod Bolsinger’s recent webinar, he emphasized a triad of leadership capacities needed to bring about transformational leadership. One part of that triad is relational congruence. Relational congruence, as he sees it, “is the ability to be fundamentally the same person with the same values in every relationship, in every circumstance and especially amidst every crisis.”

How do others experience your leadership? That might be a risky question to ask those you lead.

A key part of what I do for my organization is lead change. Guess what? When I am anxious, I amplify the anxiety in those around me. When I am inconsistent in my behavior, I invalidate the cultural values I long to see fully bloom in the organization.

Tod says that trust is gained like a thermostat and lost like a light switch. People who follow you are watching you to see if your behavior and words are consistent. If they are, trust builds slowly: when they aren’t, trust evaporates.

An unpredictable leader is ultimately ineffective and won’t ever gain access to the fast lane of transformational leadership. That onramp, contrary to most popular leadership advice, begins in the slow lane of relational congruence where constancy and care work together to create trust; and active trust acts like a peach pass in granting access to the fast lane of transformational leadership.

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