What Is “Leadership Transference?”


Leadership can mean different things at different times to different people.  But a few things are non-negotiable. Not long ago, I read a short essay about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the concept of “transference” came up. The point of the essay was that during his presidency, Roosevelt was not a healthy nor a strong man. He was in a wheel chair (although most Americans did not know this) and he had a myriad of health problems. However, the country he was leading was in dire trouble economically, and eventually became embroiled in a global military conflict.  And the simple fact is that the country needed to draw strength from somewhere, and someone. And that person was their president. The country needed to see strength and confidence from their leader and they drew on that strength.

Eventually, and over the course of his presidency, the country began to grow stronger as he grew physically weaker, and the idea is that he was transferring his strength to the country he was leading. Powerful idea.

The point here for you is that every leader needs to be very cognizant of the behaviors, characteristics, and things that his or her organization needs from leadership. And then, every good leader will do everything he/she can to profile, exhibit and embody those things for the organization. The members of the organization will follow the lead of the leader. If you want your organization and the people in it to embody a certain trait, make sure you yourself embody it.  If you want the people in your organization to treat customers in a certain way, make sure you treat others in the same way.  And if you want your organization to be strong and confident, make sure that you convey strength and confidence… even if you are not feeling strong or confident internally.

Dean Brenner is available to speak at your next conference or event. Dean is a practiced and dynamic speaker who draws on his professional and athletic experiences to cover topics like leadership, team building, and persuasive communication to help inspire you to higher achievement. For more info, e-mail us.

Photo by Wally Gobetz used under the following license.


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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.