Wikipedia says transformational leadership is a style of leadership that can be identified when “leaders and followers make each other advance to a higher level of morality and motivation.”

This style of leadership is great for a company because it fosters a positive and energetic environment.  Not only do members of the team get involved in processes and take ownership of the success of those processes,  they also encourage and assist their team members to be successful.  Teams that implement a transformational leadership style, are most often successful and loyal.  These companies also have a reduced turnover because employees are typically very committed.  They also achieve higher levels of success then other companies or teams because they are determined by inspiration and guided by a clear vision. An added bonus to adapting this style of leadership is the well-being of your employees!  A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reported that employees who were exposed to transformational leadership expressed a higher sense of well-being.

4 key elements of Transformational Leadership

  • Intellectual Stimulation encourages creativity, innovation, and problem solving.
  • Individualized Consideration takes into account the unique talents and skills each person
    brings to the team.
  • Idealized Influence is being a positive role model based on mutual trust.
  • Inspirational Motivation means that motivation is developed from an intrinsic sense of of inspiration based on a common vision, versus outside sources.

The recipe is simple, start with a clear vision base, add a dab of inspiration, a pinch of motivation, add some sense of identity and purpose, and mix together with the four elements above.  Presto!  You have improved morale,  increased employee retention, greater success and happy little workplace.

Blog over, right?  That was easy.

Several years ago,  I was learning how to make a south indian dish called sambar, from a south indian.  I had never tasted sambar or even seen it for that matter.  I never even heard of it.   The directions I was given were to “add some tomatoes, add some cooked dal, add the list of spices, some tamarind then…make a sambar out of it.” The recipe was simple.  Except… I didn’t know HOW to make a sambar out of it.

If you are like the many leaders I have worked with,  you may have the recipe for transformational leadership but completely lost as to HOW to do it.  You may have found yourself bouncing from one idea to the next,  frustrated that while you are working hard to create a transformation in your business culture, morale and employee retention are slipping further away.  Success has become just an empty hope.

Simple in concept, but tough stuff. 

Thats because the recipe for transformational leadership is simple, but the complexity of the recipe  is tough.  It requires a lot of direction, and time to marinade, sear, and cook.  It also requires a plan focused on the culture as much as the strategy and tactics.

It seems logical to begin where it hurts, because that is what we do as human beings. Typically the places we feel the pain the most in our organizational culture are in morale, work ethic, attitudes, and employee retention.  It is not uncommon for companies to begin with a focus on inspiration, motivation, and identity to solve these pains. However, before we can begin layering on these ingredients, we need to focus on the base… a clear vision.

A transformational leader,  grabs hold of the vision, and uses it to empower.  When used this way, the vision becomes a tool to motivate, inspire, and propel the success of the team and individuals who are part of it.

While transformational leadership can be a deeply involved recipe,  the finished product is one worth the effort.  Its leaves employees with a positive taste in their mouth about the culture of the company, yet leaves them hungry for continued success.  It also means, they will want to stick around for the long haul to see what else the company might be cooking up.

How can you transform your business?

Propel My Vision works with leaders wishing to adapt a transformational leadership style by helping them first identity a vision that is focused on the purpose of their company.  This may require examining that purpose to be sure it is clear, as many times companies lose sight of this over years of growth.  With a strong base in place,  Propel My Vision then puts together customized plans to identify the gaps and fill those gaps with transformational leadership strategies that will propel the company forward with employee buy-in, ownership, and a deep connection to the vision.  We will look at developing specific communication skills, managements, and employee culture, and how to transform the workplace into a culture that will thrive. Propel My Vision creates long-term relationship with our clients.  We believe a shift in culture and true alignment on the vision is more than a motivational pep-talk or a few days of training, it takes time and dedication and we are committed to each of our clients achieving new levels of success that are sustainable over the long haul.

To learn more about transformational leadership and how it will boost your team’s performance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation appointment.

I posted two seemingly unrelated questions on my personal Facebook page.  For those who know me, there is very little I do without purpose.  These questions are definitely linked and definitely were asked with intention. In fact, they will serve to demonstrate a very poignant point.  If you are a manager, a CEO, business owner, a VP, or have anyone reporting to you directly, keep reading.  If you are a parent, a church leader, an educator, or a community official, keep reading.  If you are struggling to move your career ahead, keep reading. If you are someone who wants to grow and develop into a confident leader and you feel you lack what it takes, keep reading. Your eyes are about to open.

The first question I asked was “What is your biggest challenge at work?”    I received approximately 20 answers. There were 5 different countries represented in the responses, and all different job titles.  Both men and women responded. I did not add any context to my question, I just asked the question… More on the responses later.

Next I posed the question “Name a leadership skill.”  Again, I offered no context and no explanation. This was a less vulnerable question and didn’t require anyone to admit to their struggles, and it received nearly 30 responses.  They also came from around the globe, representing several countries, and both men and women.  The people who responded held an array of titles and positions in the companies where they worked.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.  Very few of the answers to the first question had anything to do with the functions of their job.  Not a single one of them had to do with not knowing how to complete tasks.  In fact, for the most part they overlapped with the list of leadership skills that were mentioned in the second question.

I have put the answers to both questions side by side so you can see for yourself:

What is your biggest challenge at work?Name a Leadership Skill:
•    Communication (x4)•   Communication skills (x 2)
•    Team work•   Team Building
•    Favoritism•   Guidance
•    Feeling undervalued/appreciated•   Inspiring personality
•    Creativity•   Creativity
•    Connecting with others•   Servitude (servant leadership) (x2)
•    Negative culture•   Positivity (x2)
•    Environmental working conditions•   Behavior & attitude
•    Sustaining a fast pace•   Fast thinker
•    Lack of finance for projects•   Problem solving
•   Feeling challenged•   Motivation
•   Uncertainty•   Confidence (x2)
•   Creating a culture of change•   Flexibility
•   Time management•   Responsibility
•   Keeping on track with projects•   Able to handle pressure
•   Multi-tasking•   Delegating tasks
•   People not following processes•   integrity (x2)
•   Patience
•   Decision Making (x2)
•   Patience
•   Honesty
•   Concern

Can you see the parallels at work here? This chart tells me the very things people feel they are lacking, the things that would make their job performance better, create a better working environment, and bring the company’s they work for more success, are also the things they equate to leadership skills.  They are not the technical or functional skills that most companies invest the most on teaching.

Ironically, or maybe not so much, these are the very same skills that we take out into the world to make the world a better place. Leadership skills strengthen our homes and our communities and even our churches. They make everything around us…stronger.

So, I started a new poll and began randomly asking people, if they feel they learned leadership skills during their formalized education.  Not surprising, the answer I am receiving is an overwhelming and resounding “no” to that question.  This means that if you want employees and people in your community to be empowered, to be strong leaders, and to excel in your company so as to propel your company, you cannot have the expectation that they will come to you ready to do so.  You may have to take the initiative and provide the formal education they never received around these skills.

If you have employees who report to you, of if you are business owner, parent, church leader, or just someone who wants to develop the skills of a strong leader – you are in luck. The good news is: these things CAN be learned. It does not matter your role, rank, or title, you CAN be a strong leader.  It doesn’t matter if you are introverted or extroverted, not that “type” or are that “type” – YOU can be a strong leader.  All of us have been equipped with the traits of a good leader, learning how to embrace them, draw upon them, and strengthen them is possible with a good coach, mentor, trainer, or advisor.

To admit you want more confidence…well, it takes a certain level of confidence to even get that far.  So congrats.  You are already moving in the right direction.

Building confidence and increasing confidence has been an ongoing journey for me.  I don’t really see it as a “destination” to achieve.  I don’t ever imagine saying to myself,  “Oh, I got it.  I am self-confident now. Whew. I can check THAT off the list.”  Rather,  I have found that every time I reach a new level of confidence,  I see another mountain to climb in front of me.  The more I get, the more I want.  The more I have, the more I want to do for others.  Which makes sense because confidence and natural hormones in our body called dopamine go hand-in-hand.  Dopamine happens to be the chemical in your brain that waves flags, telling you “Hey,  something good is about to happen.  You are going to want to remember this so you can do it again!” Dopamine helps us remember what feels good so we want to do more of it,  like my desire for increasing my self-confidence.

Now,  lets be clear.  Self-Confidence is defined as the feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgment.  Its not the same as ego and its not the same as bravado, which can actually be used to mask one’s lack of self-confidence. Someone may perceive someone with ego or bravado as being self-confident, but the two are not always synonymous so we must be careful in our judgment, of others and ourselves.  Additionally,  self-confidence is not only for the extrovert.  Introverted individuals can also feel a sense of trust in their abilities, qualities, and judgement.  It is equally important that we do not mistake someone’s quiet nature for a lack of confidence.

However,  someone with confidence is recognizable.  They carry themselves taller,  they are sure of their decisions, and they are comfortable with “who they be” in life.  They often succeed more because not only is self-confidence a trait of a leader; a self-confident person is more likely to make decisions and choices to foster success.

Building Confidence: Tips and Tricks

Below are four things I do that you can use to increase your confidence starting today:

  • Recite a positive affirmation whenever you feel the lack of confidence creeping up. For example, if I am making sals calls and the rejection calls are starting to wear me down,  I would say “I am self-confident. I got this” before I pick up my next call. I have also done this before big interviews and it works GREAT. It feels a little silly at first, but it works.
  • Do something out of your comfort zone. Seems a bit counter-intuitive, I know.  But find 1 thing every day that makes you feel outside of your comfort zone.  When we do things out of comfort zone and we make it through them (Eating with a different coworker during lunch? Speaking up during that meeting?), our circle of comfort starts to expand – and so does our confidence.
  • Help someone. Use your talent, skills, abilities to help someone.  This reaffirms your own abilities, and it also takes the focus off yourself so it feels freeing and makes us happy too.  Bonus – you get to help someone, so its a win-win.
  • Take a power stance. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or clasped  behind your head.  If you are sitting, go ahead, fold your hands behind your head and kick your feet up on the desk.  A power stance is very open and the more space you take up with your body, the better.  Taking a power-stance gives us an immediate surge of confidence.  This is a great tactic before a meeting or presentation.  I will sometimes go into a restroom or empty hallway before a big presentation and walk around for a moment in a power-stance!

If you have other ways that have helped you increase your confidence, please comment or reach out to me so I can share them.  There are so many people who struggle with this, and one way we can help each other is by sharing our own struggles AND solutions.

I believe a person who has been empowered and challenged to be a good leader propels the companies and the businesses for which they work, forward.  I believe they are the backbone of every successful company.  I believe they propel their careers forward.  And I believe when a person has built the self-confidence to be a leader in their professional life, there are parallels with their personal life. And the same people who propel their professional life, are the same people who propel their families, their relationships, and their communities forward.

I also believe companies that have invested in transforming their employees, see a deep seeded value in the human dynamic. They look for opportunities to develop more people, not only because it will bring them success, which it does, but because it is a natural part of who these companies are; it is their culture. I believe when a company propels others forward, it also propels the community forward.

And when you have good leaders propelling good companies and they work together to propel their communities forward…well then, we start to make this world a better place for all of us.

And that’s why Propel My Vision is so important to me.  That is why I am on this journey, to share my gifts as a trainer, coach, and consultant to propel people, businesses, and communities forward to create a world where people feel strong, confident, and proud.

I do this by aligning people on a common vision, and empowering them with real tools.  I help them see possibilities they did not even know existed before through: Find Your Why workshops, customized vision development, vision planning, and vision empowerment (team building) and leadership skill building.

If you are part of a company that believes in developing and investing in its employees;  your company not only sees the benefit and value of leadership growth in increased profits, but also the benefit your employees will make in their lives and the lives of others,  then let’s talk.