Today let’s look at the third “I” in the transformational leaders arsenal. It really isn’t as mercenary as it sounds. The third “I” is Individualized Consideration. Once again we’ll be looking at a biblical character that personifies this “I.”
3. Individualized Consideration: Transformational leaders treat followers as distinct individuals. Followers are treated individually and differently depending on the needs each one has. It may seem like an impossible task, but working with ones direct reports is an excellent place to begin. Several days ago we looked at management. This could be seen as the management component of transformational leadership. Manager-Tools.Com has some great advice in how to work with direct reports on an individual basis. Mike and Mark label them One-on-Ones.
The Apostle Paul was a leader who exemplified individualized consideration. His letter to the church in Thessalonica is an excellent example of how individualized consideration works. His words are found in 1 Thessalonica 2:7-12.
7But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.8So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11For you know how, like a father with his children, 12we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and(I) charged(J) you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory (ESV).
I love the way Paul not only compares himself as a father, but a mother also. He likens himself to a parent who deals individually with each of his children. It would have been great to have been part of that church and experience the attention the Apostle Paul gave those in his charge.
The Apostle Paul also had men he mentored. We have a written record of his mentoring of Timothy. Obviously he spent time one-on-one with this young man, sharing his wisdom and love of ministry. Paul gave Timothy advice on leadership, spiritual development, even how to handle medical issues in his life. Think about how it would have been to be Timothy! All that individual consideration given to you by the Apostle Paul.
Who are the Timothy’s in your life? Do you lead an organization that has Timothy’s in it? Do you lead an organization like the church in Thessalonica? The best tool you may have in your transformational leadership arsenal may be the individualized consideration of those in your charge.
Tomorrow we tackle the last “I”. See you then.