Transformational leadership fosters change to achieve optimal business performance.
Dr. Deepak Chopra
In our previous blog ‘The costly impact of Mediocre Leadership in Uncertain Times’, we identified how mediocre or working to traditional leadership styles can negatively impact business performance and its overall success.
Here we delve deeper into why transformational leadership qualities are needed to create a transformational culture to build on business resilience, increased performance and profitability.
Socio-economic and market volatility has prompted even the most engaged business leaders to acknowledge the need to address their company culture to ensure they can attract and retain talent, achieve their operational and performance management objectives to maintain their market position and encourage stability and a growth mindset.
A company’s culture impacts how their front-line teams perform and, as a company’s culture reflects its leadership behaviours and interactions, in these uncertain times it is more important than ever for business leaders to adopt a transformational company culture.
A transformational culture is an effective workplace culture with the key factors of staff empowerment and continual development of its practice and self-knowledge.
It is a culture that:
• Emphasises the importance of self-energising and self-organising team members
• Encourages individuals to have a clear sense of purpose who can communicate freely, and challenge and support each other
• Enables individuals to take responsibility for innovation and development
• Empowers individuals to think critically about issues as they encounter them daily
However, in order to achieve a transformational culture requires a transformational leadership style and approach.
Transformational leadership is a leadership approach by individuals who are committed to creating and communicating a vision that inspires, motivates and develops cohesion within the workforce in working towards a common purpose or goal, to achieve excellence in high performing teams and organisational success.
An effective leader or manager must build relationships with peers and colleagues across the organisation and actively network to share ideas and drive innovation. Developing team excellence in their cohesion and collaboration is imperative to an organisation’s success.
Bernard Bass, industrial psychologist, defines transformational leadership with four critical components:
1. Idealised Influence (purpose driven model)
2. Inspirational motivation (inspires others)
3. Intellectual stimulation (people driven with genuine concern for others)
4. Individualised consideration (innovating and challenging followers)
Transformational leadership fosters change to achieve optimal business outcomes. Transformational leaders are key in contributing to an organisation’s change management process of adapting, controlling and affecting change as it occurs.
For business leaders to transform their company culture they must evaluate how they influence communication, change and outcomes for their business.
A transformational leader must have a measurable degree of cognitive and emotional intelligence with the ability to express themselves with empathy, authenticity and transparency of information, applying both verbal and non-verbal indicators that recipients clearly understand and that are aligned to the overall vision.
Often business leaders are faced with complex and difficult organisational challenges in times of economic uncertainty and cultural changes of the workforce profile and demographic.
In developing the culture change strategy, the transformational leader must consider the active areas within the business that are driving the need for change to proactively design and implement change management initiatives that appeal to an evolving workforce and inspire individuals and teams to achieve higher performance levels.
A transformational leader understands individuals’ personal inspirations and aspirations which help them to guide and influence positive outcomes. By motivating and influencing individuals and teams, this leader works hard at developing high performing teams and by implementing ongoing learning and development programmes, they enable the effective collaboration of independent thinkers to achieve a common goal.
Developing your transformational leadership style requires commitment, dedication and often further development to strengthen your skills and address identified weaknesses that may hold you back.
Strengths such as:
• The ability to develop a vision for growth and develop teams to achieve the desired business outcomes
• The ability to be assertive yet empathetic in influencing and motivating teams to achieve the desire to drive forward growth through a common and shared purpose
• The ability to have a clear understanding of how people and processes are inseparable to affect effective transformational culture change.
Weaknesses such as:
• Inability to effectively communicate a clear and concise vision that teams can rally behind
• Lacking detail and transactional focus and oversight resulting in a misalignment between the vision, objectives and desired outcomes
• Relying too heavily on emotions to influence change thereby ‘clouding’ the reality of the workplace environment.
• Unable to readily delegate tasks, roles and responsibilities to others equally capable in the workplace.
As a leader we are expected to lead by example, to make the right choices and decisions for the organisation and its people. However, sometimes we get things wrong, and the outcome is not what we had hoped for.
We can’t always know whether the goals we want to achieve are going to bring about the desired success. Some of the greatest business leaders have failed in business or stumbled through mistakes they have made along the way before achieving their ultimate business success. How? By learning from their mistakes and doing things differently and better the next time around.
There are 3 simple steps we can take as leaders when something does go wrong. Be it a failure we are personally responsible for, or a failure by our team:
1. Take ownership of the failure – don’t blame others: “Your people know when you make mistakes. The real question is whether you’re going to ‘fess up. If you do, you can quickly regain their trust.” John Maxwell: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
2. Examine what went wrong and learn from it: Reflect on the behaviour or action that was the cause of the failure to understand how the process or action could’ve been done differently. Involve your team in examining what and where improvements can be made to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again. Review whether additional support and training may be needed.
3. Commit and take action: Firstly, apologise if the mistake or failure was as a direct result of your actions then, take immediate steps to right the wrong. If you need to change priorities or habits or routines, then do so. If you need to change procedures, then make that happen.
It is also important to remember however, that it doesn’t have to be an actionable mistake or financial failure for you as a leader to recognise where change and improvements are immediately needed. Admitting to yourself to have fallen into a mediocre style of leadership is also the first step. And by making the commitment to revisit your leadership style to one of transformational leadership to bring about a Transformational Culture, will instill renewed faith, trust and allegiance from your stakeholders and employees too.
To help step-up your Leadership qualities and become a Transformational Leader, our Future Focus Transformational Leaders Programme Package will help to support your Leadership Journey. The Programme is informative and experiential and helps to identify and explore the transformational leadership skillset required to lead the organisation to achieve exceptional results whilst developing a transformational culture. The programme is aimed at Senior and Executive leaders.
The programme is delivered to a maximum of 6 delegates over 6 days and completed within a 6-month period.
The programme includes:
In support of organisations whose leadership styles have fallen behind in achieving the successful results they expected, The Oakridge Centre has developed its Future Focus Leadership programme package.
The Future Focus Leadership programe is a bespoke package support solution tailored to address the most important areas of an individuals’ leadership development journey and that of the business to achieve its organisational success. The Oakridge Centre’s lead consultant will assess your requirements and then tailor the programme content to meet your organisation’s exacting needs. The tailored programme package supports the 3 stages of leadership and you can find out more by following the links below:
Below are a few additional resources to support your Transformational Leadership Journey:
An exceptional culture stems from exceptional leadership qualities. Transformational leadership fosters change to achieve optimal business performance…
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