Sunday, July 23, 2006

Differences Between Modern And Postmodern Leadership

yadah at Yadah Thoughts , in response to my previous post , emailed me an interesting online article which, amongst other insights, included Brian McLaren's ideas on postmodern leadership. He saw a cultural clash - the models that worked in the modern Church no longer function in the emerging postmodern Church.

McLaren uses a scene in the story of "The Wizard of Oz" to make his point. When Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal that the great Wizard of Oz is in fact a very average person hiding behind an imposing image. The 1940's world was a world immersed in modernity. The film exposes the Wizard as a fraud, expressing a relentless doubt and displaying an early pang of discontent with its dominant model of larger-than-life leadership. The answer to this problem appeared in the next scene. McLaren said,

"At first glance, Dorothy is all wrong as a model of leadership. She is the wrong gender (female) and the wrong age (young). Rather than being a person with all the answers, who knows what's up and where to go and what's what, she is herself lost, a seeker, often bewildered, and vulnerable. These characteristics would disqualify her from modern leadership. But they serve as her best credentials for postmodern leadership."

McLaren says that Dorothy is a bit disoriented, and she gathers other needy people in the belief that all their needs can be fulfilled in a common quest. Dorothy doesn't have all the answers and can't solve all the problems, but she believes that somehow they can journey together. McLaren lists a comparison of this post-Wiz leadership to the original modern leadership model, which I am very challenged by.

1. From Bible analyst to spiritual sage
2. From Broadcaster to listener
3. From Technician to spiritual friend
4. From Warrior/Salesman to dancer
5. From Careerist to amateur
6. From Problem Solver to co-Quester
7. From Apologist to apologizer
8. From Threat to includer
9. From Knower to seeker
10. From Solo Act to team builder

As Al Rogers said, "In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." I think that is very insightful!


audrey` said...

I agree with Dorothy.
We can journey together :)

dorsey said...

I also agree with Dorothy.
We're not in Kansas anymore. :-)

Kc said...

In the end didn't Dorthy acknowledge that Aunty Em was right all along? ;-)

Sis I would wish that all of this debate over leadership really were centered on cultural issues but more often than not I am shown that authority and control are the primary considerations.

Garth said...

Just off the topic, Kitty, I have tagged you for some questions which are at toadys post at emergingblurb...up for it?

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, it's been lovely journeying together with you through blogosphere :)

Kitty Cheng said...

Dorsey, no I'm not in Kansas (or Hong Kong for that matter hehe), I am in Melbounre - one of the most livable cities in the world. :-)

Kitty Cheng said...

Kc,I must admit authority and control are as important considerations as cultural issues.

Kitty Cheng said...

Garth, I'll get to it :) thanks for tagging me brother.