When you use the term “transformational leadership” it may evoke images of super-caffeinated motivational gurus or managers whose devotion to the company is so opaque it borders on creepy. In fact, transformational leadership is about more than gimmicks or single-minded devotion. It’s about inspiring your team not only to actualize their individual potential but make that potential coalesce around a single, shared vision of the company and its future.
The transformational leadership model has proven, over time, to be one of the most effective leadership methods regardless of your industry. Its success can be attributed, in part, to the characteristics of its leaders. Transformational leaders are usually inclusive, emotionally intelligent, empathetic people who inspire others to engage with them and their vision. They also have a strong ethical compass that makes their team trust them. With a team-centric focus on problem-solving, transformational leaders create the kind of work environment that inspires their team to innovate and strive for personal success. That culture of innovation and the feeling that your own greatness is an integral part of a larger, grander scheme is both attractive and potent.
In today’s economy, innovation is the key to sustained competitiveness. Coupled with the ability to collaborate, even across great distances effectively, teams need leadership that keeps that creative fire lit. Transformational leadership is ideal for creating the corporate culture that achieves that goal. Transformational leaders identify the core values of a company and translate that into a vision that every member of their team can personally buy into. Regardless of the shifting circumstances in the company, a transformational leader helps the team to see these shifts as positives rather than negatives.
Most importantly, transformational leadership works. Whether we are talking about a multinational organization or a small business, leadership is one of the key factors to success. Transformational leadership helps you to groom people who can meet extraordinary challenges and perform above even their own expectations. This is true for every facet of human activity. A 2002 study of the effects of transformational leadership on military cadets found that the platoons with transformational leaders outperformed their counterparts in every area. With these kinds of results, is it any wonder that organizations are increasingly looking for transformational leaders to help them move into the next phase of their development?