CW4 Paul Dannar, US-A - Views of Leadership Part 2
Discipleship and Apprenticeship
Discipleship and apprenticeship can be the vehicle for transmitting knowledge required for expert practice in a particular field. In both the discipleship and apprenticeship method learners see the process at work before attempting it, often with only one "right” way to perform the task. This approach—the "visionary leadership” approach—is leader centric as the disciple takes on the vision of the leader and leaves their personal visions for the organization behind.
With discipleship and apprenticeship the leader is responsible for ensuring that the vision (whatever that vision may be: to increase sales by 35% or to ensure safe drinking water for Libya) is clearly communicated to the follower. The leader must utilize a wide range of methods to get "the” message across so that the "shared meaning" can mobilize the efforts of the follower.
Shared meaning indicates a state where all stakeholders in an organization understand the message and that it has the same meaning for all. In other words, the organization is not confused in regard to its overall mission.
Thus, the leader must stay on message by creating rhetoric and communication approaches that allow the future leader to stay attuned to the message. The leader as the model reflects the message being articulated; in other words, the model must be authentic. The best way to describe being authentic is doing what you say you are going to do and being in control of your emotional state. The authentic model/leader earns the trust of the follower, who then begins to see and learn through this model in order to pursue a valuable goal or path.
The visionary leadership approach meshes well with discipleship because this particular type of leader has a solid understanding of where to take the organization and is willing, almost compelled, to communicate that direction to each follower. While this type of leader can be somewhat authoritarian at times, strength lies in filtering out the extraneous "noise” of the internal organization and setting clear decision-making priorities constructed around the goal of improving.