Transformational leadership is about building lasting behavioural changes – changes that will transform not only your team but your business and possibly also you.
“It’s the end of the world said the caterpillar.
No it’s just the beginning said the butterfly.”
Because so much of the success of a modern business is about leading and managing change, so a leader’s role is increasingly focused on changing the behaviours of their teams (sometimes as well as their own).
In the past, for a leader to be successful, it may have been enough for them to operate a simple reward and punishment system, such as bonuses or prizes for tasks completed – what’s known as transactional leadership.
But no longer. In today’s fast moving, complex business environment, for a business to achieve their goals and maximise the potential of their employees, a leader needs to be able to change and transform people’s behaviour – to influence them in a way that they achieve more than what is usually expected of them.
This transformational style of leadership is not only about long term behavioural change but also about aligning the beliefs and values of the team with the goals of the business.
Behaviours of a transformational leader
So what sort of things would you be doing and saying if you were to become a transformational leader and what impact might that have on your team and your business?
Some of the most important things are:-
involving your team in the business planning process
motivating – by communicating and giving feedback on their role in achieving goals
encouraging ownership – by creating an environment which supports creativity and innovation
role modelling – ie demonstrating the behaviour you want to see in others
attending to the needs and motives of others – give each member of your team some individual time and tailor the type and level of support they require as individuals
promoting collaborative working – to encourage focus on the greater good rather than individual needs
influencing through composed, reasoned argument
And the impact of adopting this approach?
You will develop a team which feels empowered and able to make decisions without your involvement every time; you will be confident those decisions are being made in line with the goals of your business.
And your time will be freed up to focus on areas you consider to be important, whether that is working out how to take your business to the next level, spending more time with customers or identifying new opportunities.
In short, transformational leadership will produce greater results as it focuses on long term behavioural changes rather than (or ideally, as well as) short term task completion.
Until next time.