Transformational leadership is likely the most coveted style of leadership.
A transformational leader is someone who enhances motivation and morale among followers. In terms of the workspace, they are someone who is able to inspire each employee to work for a collective good, and not just for their own self-interest.
As it positively impacts innovation, transformational leadership has a high payout. The effects of this style of leadership are desirable for both the organization and the followers.
It increases job performance and satisfaction, as well as organizational performance. When compared to transactional leadership, the transformational kind can easily be seen as the holy grail of leadership.
The 4 I’s of Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership has 4 components. We often refer to these as the 4 I’s. All the secrets to transformational leadership revolve around these 4 elements.
A transformational leader is someone who is able to stimulate creativity and innovation among their employees.
They can do this by empowering team members in decision-making processes, encouraging bottom-up and upward feedback, driving employees’ share of voice, and allowing mistakes.
Offering encouragement and support to individual followers is also a key component of transformational leadership.
Personal attention to employees’ needs helps drive better relationships in the organization, enhance employees’ development and growth and develop trust among the organization’s members.
A transformational leader has a clear vision for their organization and is able to communicate it to their team. Moreover, they can help employees’ experience the same passion and motivation for bringing this vision to life.
Team members emulate their leader and internalize their ideals when they trust and respect their leader.
A transformational leader knows how to serve as a role model for the members of their team. They know how to embody the qualities they want to see in their followers. For instance, they will always put their followers’ needs above their own.
Coaching for Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership skills can be developed through executive coaching. But an organization needs to work with an executive coach who is also a transformational leadership expert.
Many companies rely on executive coaching and believe in its benefits. Most of these organizations think that executive coaching should focus on helping key leaders achieve high performance. But what they really need is a coaching culture that enables everyone to perform at their peak.
By working with an executive coach who can leverage their skills to create a transformational leadership style, instead of just coaching a leader to improve their own performance, an organization will achieve a greater return on their investment.
In a sense, the goal should be for the coachee to become a coach. As mentioned, taking an individual approach to followers’ growth and development is a key element of transformational leadership.
As personalization is crucial for employees’ success, every leader should also be a coach to their followers. When a leader is helping employees find their own solutions, they are strengthening their employees’ trust in them as well as creating a skilled team.
Creating an Ethical Climate
A good transformational leader is someone who shapes the ethical climate in their company. Transformational leaders are responsible for achieving organizational alignment with the core company values. They can achieve this through consistent workplace communication.
One of the biggest prerequisites for organizational success is to have everyone on the same page. And transformational leaders are the ones who know how to link their followers’ personal values with their organizational values.
Moreover, great leaders continually work with their employees to uphold high moral standards. Oftentimes, they pay more attention to employees’ moral standards than their performance.
Allowing Freedom of Choice for Employees
Communication still flows one way in many organizations. Meaning, there isn’t a way for the employees to share their own opinions and engage in daily, company-wide, conversations.
Transformational leaders should encourage employees to share their voices and empower them to make their own decisions. Followers of transformational leaders feel free to speak up, express their needs, raise their concerns and come up with their own ideas.
Using Persuasive Appeals Based on Reason
Many leaders don’t have the ability to reach their employees with the right messages. Some leaders don’t even know why a certain change is happening.
Transformational leaders should drive acceptance among team members during times of change, as most people are resistant to change. Transformational leaders are good at articulating the reasoning behind specific actions taken by their company.
A good transformational leader is someone who can clearly explain why the change is happening, through proper corporate communication, and how the change will benefit them as individuals and the company as a whole.
Promoting Cooperation and Harmony
Many employees don’t have clear guidance on how to achieve goals. Moreover, many employees don’t even understand what their specific goals are.
To be successful and articulate in explaining these goals, and showing their employees how to achieve them, transformational leaders need to have a solid understanding of the necessary goals.
Workplace harmony and cooperation are impossible to achieve without consistent, frequent and transparent interpersonal and organizational communication.
A transformational leader is responsible for building harmony in the workplace. It is their job to create a culture in which everyone strives towards achieving the same goals.
They have the ability to create the passion and energy that help fuel cohesion among team members and peers.
A leader should be completely transparent with their followers. Otherwise, employees might lose trust in their leader and their company. Leaders should always keep their team informed about how the organization is doing and where it is heading.
According to a study by Slack, 80% of employees want to know more about how decisions are made in their company. Keeping employees in the loop is key to building trust among employees.
Emphasizing Positive Development and Intrinsic Motivation
A transformational leader who empowers their followers to keep investing in themselves throughout their careers clearly understands their own role in driving business success.
They treat each member of the team as a valued individual and take the time to learn what motivates them, rather than just patting them on the back for a job well done.
When used appropriately, the transformational style of leadership is highly effective. Assessing your current leadership style is one way to improve your own leadership skills. You will be better able to play to your strengths and improve your weaknesses by evaluating your own skills.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.
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