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
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|
(destructive role: destroyer of diversity: Leveler)
(destructive role: Tyrant)
(destructive role: Magician)
(destructive role: fanatic)
(destructive role: Spin doctor)
|Meaning and Purpose|
(destructive role: Manipulator)
|Courage and faith|
(destructive role: Exploiter or ‘Keep Hands off/ No Touching’)
by Theo H Veldsman – Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg
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