The leadership making process puts out the notion that leaders can create networks of partnerships, that would further organisational goals as well as their own careers and those of their subordinates. This partnership should not only include members of the in-group, but it should also accommodate others in the out-group. The in-group are subordinates who are more compatible with the leader and get on to negotiate with the leader to do certain activities that go beyond their formal job descriptions. In return, the leader does more for them. On the other hand, employees who are not willing to take on new and different job responsibilities, who are only interested in the defined roles of their employment contract are members of the out-group, and they draw to themselves just their official and contractual entitlements.

The leader’s initiative to develop high-quality exchanges with all of his or her subordinates, instead of just a few, is the approach endorsed by the leadership making process. It promotes the idea of making every subordinate feel as if he or she is a member of the in-group.

The leadership making process recognises that the dyadic relationship that a leader develops with his or her subordinates goes through three phases: the stranger phase, the acquaintance phase and the mature partnership phase. In the stranger phase, lower quality exchanges dominate the leader-subordinate dyad or relationship. The interactions are heavily influenced by rules and contractual relationships. This phase presents subordinates driven by self-interest rather than the good of the organisation. Moving forward to the acquaintance stage, the leader and the subordinate start sharing more resources and personal or work-related information. On purpose, they jettison interactions strictly governed by job descriptions and rules and move towards new ways of relating and improving their exchanges. When greater trust and mutual respect characterise the relationship or dyad, then, the relationship is said to be successful. Here, the motive is less about propagating personal interests, but more about promoting the purposes and goals of the organisation. High-quality leader-subordinate exchanges hallmark the mature partnership phase. Both participants in the relationship mutually support and depend on each other. Favours and special assistance are thrown in from time to time, reciprocally. Subordinates may rally to do extra work for the leader, and similarly, the leader may rise to give encouragement and support to the subordinate. This productive relationship goes well beyond the traditional hierarchically defined work relationship and produces positive outcomes for the leader, subordinate and their organisation.

The partnerships created in the leadership making process are transformational in that they assist leaders and followers in transcending their personal interests for the greater good of the team and organisation. The leadership making process accomplishes the task of motivating senior or lower level managers to assess their leadership from a relational perspective.

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