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The Leader – The Critical Bridge

On our weekly leadership master class we discussed the role of the leader to be the critical bridge between his/her organisation and its context out there. Listen here

To connect their organisation and followers effectively to the context so that they fit the context with its demands and requirements, leadership has to fulfil certain Contextual Engagement Roles. Leadership is the critical bridge between the context on the one hand and their organisations/ followers on the other hand to bring a best reciprocal fit about.

Seven Engagement Roles can be differentiated in terms of the critical qualitative features of the emerging future Context in the form of an expanded VUCA, called VICCASS: increasing Variety, Interdependency (i.e., connectivity), Complexity, Change, Ambiguity, Seamlessness and Sustainability.

The figure depicts these Contextual Engagement Roles, expressed metaphorically, that need to be used a bridge building means by leadership. All of these Roles have to be enacted simultaneously at any given point in time within the leadership community, not of necessity by the same leader.

Leadership Contextual Engagement Roles

Theo Veldsman - wagon wheel PNG format new - 13 May 2016

Through fulfilling these contextual engagement roles, the leader as bridge builder build psychosocial capital in their followers and organisations to effectively engage with the context. The psychosocial capital built by a Contextual Engagement Role is shown in the last column of the table.

 

CONTEXTUAL QUALITY CONTEXTUAL ENGAGEMENT ROLE PSYCHOSOCIAL CAPITAL BUILT
Variety Architect

(destructive role: destroyer of diversity: Leveler)

Trust
Interdependency Conductor

(destructive role: Tyrant)

Harmony
Complexity Sage

(destructive role: Magician)

Efficacy (=competence)
Change Prophet

(destructive role: fanatic)

Hope
Ambiguity Poet

(destructive role: Spin doctor)

Meaning and Purpose
Seamlessness Guide

(destructive role: Manipulator)

Courage and faith
Sustainability Steward

(destructive role: Exploiter or ‘Keep Hands off/ No Touching’)

Preciousness, Beauty

and Caring

 

by Theo H Veldsman – Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg

e-mail: theoveld@mweb.co.za

Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on adriaan@leadershipplatform.com for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.

 

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