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Leadership That Combines the Transactional and the Emotional

Rebecca Lowry, Superintendent

A former public school superintendent, Rebecca Lowry, PhD, provides an Ohio school district with psychology consulting services. With an extensive background as a superintendent, Dr. Rebecca Lowry earned the Cleveland Rotary Club Educator of the Year Award in the early 2000s.

There are many ways of defining styles of organizational leadership, with one strategy being the “transactional.” This type of leadership treats organizational activities and decisions within the framework of business transactions. Employees complete tasks assigned to them in return for an established compensation. While this may be effective as an organizing force, it does not provide guidance when it comes to enabling over-achievement of goals and attaining above-the-minimum results.
Emotional leadership fills this gap by placing an emphasis on people’s human needs and motivations. This is particularly critical in school settings where the aim is to nurture learning rather than simply impose rules. A healthy mix of well-defined expectations and empathy for faculty members as they work toward goals is the cornerstone of a transformational leadership approach with these fundamental factors working synergistically to create shared purpose and momentum.

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