STOP-OVER 12: LEADERSHIP UNIVERSE – CONTEXTUAL LEADERSHIP ROLES
At a glance
As go-between between Sphere 3: World and her followers, leadership acts as a connecting ‘bridge’ between followers and the Context by fulfilling six mutually interdependent bridging Contextual Roles.
As bridge leadership, firstly, constitutes and mediates the reality followers will engage with; and, secondly, capacitates followers to connect with the Context in enabling and empowering ways in this way ensuring they are Context fit and matched.
The Contextual Roles find their origin in the six critical features of the newly, emerging order, typified by the acronym VICCAS: a world of increasing Variety, Interdependency, Complexity, Change, Ambiguity, Seamlessness and Sustainability.
This is the Context in which leadership with his followers has to realise – through a future-directed journey – the shared dream with its consequentially valuable and value-adding legacy.
The bridging Contextual Roles with its corresponding VICCAS features that leadership have to take up with respect to the Context are metaphorically speaking:
- Architect relative to Variety;
- Conductor relative to Interdependency;
- Sage relative to Complexity;
- Prophet relative to Change;
- Story Teller relative to Ambiguity;
- Guide relative to Seamlessness; and
- Steward relative to Sustainability
The challenge to leadership is how to take up the above bridging Contextual Roles in a constructive manner in order for followers to engage with the right psychosocial capital (adapted from Luthans, Youssef & Avolio) with the true reality reflective of this Context.
There is an ever present risk for leadership is to distort and/ or deny the true reality of the Context and take up a required Contextual Role in a reality estranging way. Hereby she will create a pseudo-reality with which followers will engage with, in an increasingly alienating way.
Each of the above Contextual Role of leadership relative to its corresponding VICCASS feature is next discussed.