Search Leighton Ford Ministries

Uncategorized | Dr. Jim Osterhaus

Leadership Triangle. Part 2

September 20, 2022


The Transformational Environment
Transformational leadership for the leader involves creating an environment whereby the organization can wrestle with the competing values and implications associated with this problem.
Unfortunately, rather than wrestle with the transformational issues as they emerge within our communities, we tend to apply technical fixes, such as altering programs or acquiring new equipment or reshuffling personnel in an attempt to change the situation. These aren’t bad solutions, but their limitation is in the fact that they involve solutions already existing within organizations. Transformational solutions involve a deeper level of change; they often require us to alter deeply held beliefs and modify established habits and patterns of behavior. And of course, transformational change involves loss. As I change, I will loose something(s) that are important to me. It is those who are directly affected by the solutions who must be guided by the leader through the process of finding the solutions, no matter how painful this process might be.
The Transformational Leader
The below examples are in the book, Thriving Through Ministry Conflict. As a leadership team, discuss each vignette and the rational for each answer.
1. As the leader you are the authority figure in your organization. Two of your staff members have asked you to resolve an interpersonal conflict between them. They tell you they will abide by whatever decision you make.

What’s your approach as a transformational leader?

Do you help them resolve the issue?
Do you resolve it for them?
Do you believe they can resolve the issue?
Do you expect them to work at it until they resolve the issue themselves?

2. As the leader and leader of the organization elders, you have agreed that decisions concerning the strategic focus of your organization will be made by consensus. The group becomes deadlocked over an important issue.
What’s your approach as a transformational leader?
Do you allow the conflict in the group to continue?
Do you choose the direction you want and try to influence the members?
Do you decide to relieve the stress in the group and make the decision for them?
Do you help the group discern what the underlying values conflict really might be?

3. After a particularly difficult meeting where a decision was finally reached, several staff members approach you to complain about one member who often challenges the group’s consensus. They do not clearly ask you to intercede but their intent is clear.
What’s your approach as a transformational leader?
Do you agree with their assessment of the person?
Do you hope the conflict will pass?
Do you decide to schedule a coaching session with the individual?
Do you suggest to those complaining they should raise the issue at the next team meeting and make an effort to resolve the issue?

4. A small group of organization leaders has always been very supportive of you. They have supported all the changes you have suggested and been instrumental in helping you accomplish your vision. One day they approach you about a concern they have and now in return want your support for their cause. You are concerned because you think what they want may not be in the best interest of the organization.

What’s your approach as a transformational leader?

Do you risk losing their support by disappointing them?
Do you decide to give them your support and hope for the best?
Do you raise your concerns about the endeavor with them?
Do you challenge them to find a better alternative?

5. As the leader of the organization I am willing to take the risk and accept the consequences of exceeding my authority to make a decision that I think will be good for the community!


I am willing to provide feedback to any group member whose performance is getting in the way of their own growth and development even though the conversation may be uncomfortable for me!


These and many other everyday situations require leadership skills. Your ability to handle these situations in a positive and productive way will often determine how effective your organization will serve its members. As the leadership team, you are responsible for creating an environment where people can grow and develop. It is the ability of leaders in all organizations, sacred and secular, to help the community they serve face its conflicts, heal its divisions and find new ways to move forward together.


About Dr. Jim Osterhaus

Dr. Jim Osterhaus is the Senior Executive Coach at Leighton Ford Ministries with extensive experience helping ministry leaders and organizations
Read more
Ask Jim a question
Previous Article Next Article

Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with more information.
Church Location
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.