Transformational leadership is a theory of leadership where a leader works with teams to identify needed change, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration and executing the change in tandem with committed members of a group; it is an integral part of the Full Range Leadership Model (1).
Transformational leadership serves to enhance the motivation, morale, and job performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms; these include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to a project and to the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers in order to inspire them and to raise their interest in the project; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, allowing the leader to align followers with tasks that enhance their performance (2).
As people learn more about their emotional intelligence, they begin to ask more questions about their role in their community, employment and society. Transformational leadership isn’t just for people who manage people. Its attributes are applicable to all people and how they lead their life. It forms the basis of a community lead by a collective consciousness motivated to solve some of societies biggest concerns.
1. Lead Yourself to Lead Transformationally
Employees, it is said, do not quit company’s, they quit bosses. An effectively-led employee will be able to see and experience that their manager is on their own development journey. Leaders who are able to look in the mirror to transform themselves will inspire their employees with their courage, determination and strength. It invites them to do the same.
2. Seek in Every Interaction Opportunities to Mentor and Coach
Every conversation, every meeting, every phone call, sms or email is an opportunity for you to ask more questions and offer less answers. As a leader, your role is not to provide the solution to every problem, it is to direct your team to find the right solution through your guidance, support and inquiry.
3. Receive Continuous Constructive Feedback
The higher up the management ladder you go the more people will automatically want to please you and the less honest appraisal you’ll receive. As a leader, it is imperative that your closest team members feel safe to tell you things about what you’ve said or done that were not conducive to effective performance.
Achieve this by starting with one or two team members, seek feedback about things you can do differently between you. Accept what is said, take notes, do not argue points – shut up and listen. Later, reflect on what you’ve learned. Talk to your coach. Seek to balance the perspective.
4. Reward and Recognise Performance
Each team member will value being rewarded and recognised for their performance in their own unique way. While it is important that there are company-wide initiatives to reward and recognise employee’s contributions, it is your responsibility as a leader is to learn in what ways your team members want to experience your appreciation.
Show and/or tell team members their value in small, incremental ways on a weekly basis and reserve the larger demonstrations of value for milestones moments.
In what ways do you demonstrate transformational leadership?