4 Pillars of Transformational Leadership

Leadership today has become a key aspect in achieving organizational progress and prosperity. Specially in the new age multinationals and a diverse workforce, a leader needs to be ever agile and constantly facilitating results through people. Anyone can become a transformational leader by reflecting on his or her attitudes and mindset. Some of the most famous transformational leaders who have revolutionized nations are Abdul Kalam, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, etc.

Though challenging to practice the style in a fast paced environment, if one is determined to add long term value to the organization and the employees, one can practice this leadership style.

4 Pillars of Transformational Leadership are :

  1. Idealized influence : Idealized influence, sometimes called charisma, describes a leader’s ability to inspire high standards and serve as a role model for outstanding professional practice. Such a leader gains the trust and respect of staff. To better implement this Idealized influence one can model a behavior you want others to mirror and act on. Catch people doing good things and appreciate. Feedback to be given with an objective to support and not reprimand. Always leverage the best in others. Also acknowledge difficult situations and a participative mode with others towards solution orientation. Also be kind-trustworthy and visible.

  2. Inspirational Motivation -Inspirational motivation refers to the leader’s ability to communicate a vision others can understand and want to take part. It aligns individual and organizational goals to create a sense of purpose. For example, a hospital leader with a transformational style would find creative ways to inspire staff with a vision for the future, including meeting with groups of staff or using staff emails to lay out goals and ways of reaching them. To implement this one can help others see the big picture and explain the reasons why. Stop micromanaging, instead, give people the freedom to “go do.” There’s more than one way to do something so give your employees the freedom to accomplish the objectives. Engage employees. Think about what keeps your employees engaged—and know that this will change over time. Do this by talking to people and asking them what they want to accomplish. Also remember that customizing rewards and recognition is a simple and effective way to keep someone engaged.

  3. Intellectual Stimulation -Intellectual stimulation is provided by a leader who asks for and values staff input, who challenges followers to develop creative and innovative solutions and who continually seeks ways to provide growth and development opportunities. A climate of intellectual stimulation prompts employees to challenge assumptions, reframe problems and look at new ways of doing things. It also encourages creativity, innovation, critical thinking and problem solving. Best ways to practice this is understand why you are doing things and also if it results in favourable outcomes. Testing effectiveness of your actions and supporting innovative thinking and creativity.

  4. Individualized Consideration -Individualized consideration refers to the commitment of the leader to coaching and mentoring. A transformational leader knows individual staff members’ career aspirations and is often in a position to guide subordinates to invaluable mentoring opportunities. Learn how someone perceives themselves to find an employee’s strengths. Communicate frequently and in different ways—verbally, written and in the ways that others might respond. Push employees gently to move them out of their comfort zone. Help people understand sphere of control and that they need to concentrate on themselves. Give effective feedback. One thing to remember is that it’s important to give praise publicly and give negative feedback privately.

Do share with us your style of leadership and how that has supported your organization, employees, clients and yourself...

Reading Recommendations:

Leadershift (The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace)

Change Your World: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Difference

Nuance: Why Some Leaders Succeed and Others Fail

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