Leadership is the ability to motivate the will and actions of a group toward goal attainment. This implies relationship between leader and follower. Formerly goal-attainment was often synonymous with a directive leader. Changes in our world have helped to alter the relationship between leader and follower. (O’Toole-1995)
Futurist Alvin Toffler describes civilizations as being organized by three major influences or “waves.” Society first structured for agriculture. The second wave, organized for industry, saw the rise of top-down leadership. The third wave he calls the information age. This last period, Toffler says, will be increasingly resistant to hierarchical structures instead people will organize themselves around communities of commitment. “No leader can command or compel change. Change comes about when followers themselves desire it and seek it. Hence the role of the leader is to enlist the participation of others as leaders of the effort.” (page 133)
Leadership, as exemplified by Christ, is characterized by genuine love for the followers who respond to the leader and to each other. Because the leader genuinely cares for the followers he seeks to know and respect them deeply. He also seeks not only the partnership of the follower but their benefit and development as well.
Sources: James O’Toole, Leading Change; Overcoming the Ideology of Comfort and the Tyranny of Custom (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995)
Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave (New York: Bantam Books, 1984).