Transformational Leadership in Practice
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.