Leadership comes in many forms and each leader has their own style, philosophy, value set, and goals. But given the rapid transformation that has occurred in recent years and the uncertainties in the political and social landscape, it is important for leaders to do more than just influence over employees.
The most effective leaders display sensitivity, persistence, agility, and creative insight to drive team growth and manage multiple stakeholders. In other words, they display transformational leadership.
Defining Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership is a type of leadership that enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms, fueling greater business performance over time. These mechanisms include:
Connecting followers’ sense of identity and self to projects, and the collective identity of the organization
Being a role model to employees to keep them interested
Challenging ownership of work
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers
Transformational leadership aims to achieve greater employee motivation and morale, as leaders better align their tasks to their performance capabilities in pursuit of better overall business performance.
The Elements of Transformational Leadership
There are four elements that help create transformational teams:
idealized influence – the leader serves as a role model for high ethical behavior
individualized consideration – the leader challenges assumptions, take risks, and solicit ideas from the rest of the team
inspirational motivation – the degree to which a leader attends to each team member’s needs
intellectual stimulation – the leader articulates a vision that appeals and inspires the team
Why Transformational Leadership is Crucial
There are three reasons transformational leadership is important:
1. It fuels a positive business culture
Transformational leadership focuses on how each individual’s personal development can be accelerated and optimized in a positive manner to induce self-worth and motivation. This results in a workforce that feels valued, supported, and nurtured irrespective of background.
2. It creates a clear vision for the business
Transformational leadership provides a clear vision of what the business’ long term goals and aspirations are, in a manner that is appealing and inspiring for followers to hold on to and work hard for their realization. This is crucial, especially during times of drastic internal organizational change, especially the type of change that may jeopardize its original identity may be jeopardized. In a way, transformational leadership acts as the compass that guides the organization towards the path that they should follow.
3. It can lead to lasting and durable success
With a transformational leadership that fosters the right culture and makes strategic decisions that enables the organization to adapt well to rapidly changing environments, there is a greater likelihood for the organization to experience more lasting and durable success. With a transformational leader in charge, it drives an adaptable, agile, and sustainable workforce by serving as a role model that fuels an engaged workforce to innovate and help shape an organization’s future success.
It is About the Skills
While traditional leadership is about motivating and pushing the team towards a desired goal, transformational leadership goes beyond such abilities. In essence, it is more about the leader’s skills in motivating and inspiring others through the lessons and valuable insights learned along the way.