Based on the title of the book “The Secret to Transformational Leadership,” one might assume that Dr. Quintin Shepherd chooses it in every situation. That’s not the case.
Instead, he believes there’s a time and place for transactional leadership. For example, if there’s a single right answer about how to solve a complicated problem, transactional leadership is fine.
Competency-based leadership is on the same side of the spectrum as transactional leadership. It’s all about who is deemed the best equipped to handle a complicated problem by coming up with the single right answer.
However, transformational leadership is a better approach for complex problems because there is no single right answer and no single level inthe organization’s hierarchy where that problem needs to be solved.
To Shepherd, complex situations call for compassionate leadership, where many thoughts and voices contribute to find the optimal solution. And if the end result is not ideal, people can come together again, talk about why it didn’t work, and propose a new solution to be implemented.
In the education space, we’ve spent 50+ years embracing competency-based leadership. But times have changed, and we have a greater number of complex problems now than ever before.
Compassionate leaders work to create ownership around a proposed solution. This can be a hard sell, because there is no “right” answer. The proposed solution might not succeed. The outcome is unknowable.
Listen to this new podcast episode from Teaching Learning Leading K12 with Steven Miletto to find out more about how Shepherd’s book braces leaders to stand firm in their commitment to compassion—and bring the rest of the organization along with them.