June 26th: Teaching in High Tatras
My teaching on the Escalator course is varied; Finance, Presentation skills, Marketing, Audience Development and today…
Transactional and Transformational Leadership approaches are the two key dynamics I focus on.
I refer to leadership guru (yes not just me!?!) Peter Drucker:
How do you get people involved behind their technical function?
– or in other words… getting people to understand, to care and to contribute.
I talk and demonstrate Paul Bourne’s (!) Heads up Culture – where people want to be involved in activities and offer themselves up to make a difference.
Amazing what you can do with half a dozen juggling balls.!
These exercises show the difference between command – Transactional Leadership – and cajoling – Transformational Leadership.
If in doubt. Bring out the juggling balls..
I am focusing on leadership in The Arts of course, and mostly in small teams but the rules are still the same:
One: get people involved
Two: have clear tasks and planning schedules that people feed into and understand
Three: communicate with your team often
Four: encourage ownership.
We do an exercise on capturing our leadership success and failures.
It is called the newspaper exercise as we report on our activities…
There are some great stories – none better (EVER) than Viktor from Street Art Communications. His leadership success:
People not dying when a load of drunk volunteers worked on painting a building on a ten metre home-made scaffold deck…
I guess people not dying was a “success” but there were some good lessons to learn –
nothing though as rich as the failure…
Viktor and his team getting arrested and held in police custody when they painted a legally protected building in Kosice without the proper permission.
He was taken to the police station where the police took him into a cell and said the immortal words…
“Viktor… you fucked up”
Who needs Peter Drucker when you have leadership quotes like this?
Leadership lessons galore but somehow he got away with it, the Slovakian Government debated his actions and the painting stayed…
Great case study of successes, failures, risks and determination – obviously I don’t condone breaking the law but these guys are working on the fringes and they are awesome…
We then went onto debate Sandy Fitzgerald’s time at City Arts in Dublin. A great leadership case study where he was, after many years of growth, ousted from his own arts centre in a coup…
The arts centre grew with a community focus but when funding cuts came and the axe went onto disability arts the knives came out.
The lesson here was that Sandy was not in control – he had trusted and devolved too much power to other people – too Transformational and not Transactional enough.
You have to get the balance right. What do I mean by these phrases?
Transformational – guide, coach support and set free people with tasks for which they have ownership and responsibility. Where pride is a dynamic, and completion beyond mere satisfaction.
Transactional: give guidance with dates, budgets, timelines and plans that people work to. Be contractual and clear with regular reporting.
Combine the two and you can get exceptional results.
You just need to add talent, determination and oh – Don’t Fuck Up!