Transformational Leadership Style – Inspiring Change for Growth

Being an Transformational Leader

Transformational leader is a level 5 leader who influences and inspires change, he is a inspirational leader often with charismatic qualities.

Inspirational leadership in the corporate world can reduce attrition rate, increase performance, take care of succession planning, and can do much more. Leadership is needed to evolve from being some “Parental” figure to a “Transforming” figure.

Inspirational leadership is about leading people with emotions, expectations, ambitions, and much more. To inspire and motivate takes a lot more than appealing to rationality. 

Transformational Leadership Examples

At all the defining times in history, whenever we see a rise of charismatic and inspirational leaders, we also see a backdrop of noble causes, strong identities, the promise of everlasting peace, glory, etc. 

Take the example of all the great leaders, and you’ll be able to relate some great or larger than the life causes associated with them. Strong and inspirational leadership has always been seen in the presence of a great calamity, crisis, and cause. And all those causes have some or other mass appeal and also appeal to emotions.

And all those causes were larger than life and looked impossible at some point. But how the leaders led people and channelled their emotions and resources made it possible.

Transformational LeaderPurposeIntent
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel (Iron Man of India)Unification of IndiaPositive
Martin Luther King JrFight against racism and for equal treatment of Black AmericansPositive
Abraham LincolnEnding Slavery in America and Unification of North and South AmericaPositive
Otto Von Bismarck (Iron Man of Germany)German UnificationPositive
Examples of Inspirational Leaders

In modern-day needs in the corporate labyrinths, we do not expect any larger-than-life crisis as civilizations are settled. 

But does that mean that all the ingredients of inspirational leadership are absent? 

No, it’s not the case. Inspirational leadership, or Level Five Leadership, has its formula or secret sauce.

From the above examples, it is evident that the underlying mechanism of human emotions is the same at different points in time. Be it the medieval era, the modern era, or the information age.

People think Rationally, Act Emotionally!

Rajat Jhingan

Charismatic and emotional leaders appeal to the emotions of the people. They connect on an emotional plane. 

Connecting emotionally does not mean sharing personal information, hugging and kissing, or displaying emotions. It is the next level of communication backed by an emotional quotient (EQ).

Emotional Connection for High Performance

In your corporate labyrinths, connect to the emotional side instead of giving KPIs and deadlines to your team. Explain clearly and completely why a task is important and where their work fits into the grand puzzle.

Perhaps the company’s mission and vision come to your rescue. 

People feel lost if they are not connected to the grand plan or don’t know the importance of a nut in a space shuttle. Apart from good compensation, they mustn’t feel expendable.

Remember, the organization’s brand name and pay raise attract the employees, but the managers and the company culture make them look for other opportunities.

Food for thought: Shouldn’t managers be accountable if the attrition rate is high? 

(Share your thoughts)

Transformational Leadership is the Level 5 of Leadership : Connect Emotionally with the followers for higher performance.
Transformational Leadership is the Level 5 of Leadership : Connect Emotionally with the followers for higher performance.

Having a strong emotional connection ensures management without supervision.

Here, we are aiming to have a purpose-led emotional connect! Persuasion with emotional appeal.

But leaders are not astrologers or tarot card readers. How will they know which problems or insecurities the employees may face?

That’s where emotional connections came into play. The after-office parties, fun Fridays, informal communication settings, office lunches, retreats, etc., are opportunities to connect with the team rather than making them serve you like a Maharaja and deepening the ever-increasing gap.

Connect with people and generally ask about their well-being. Be more than a good listener. Let the team members speak their hearts out. Share their views. Enquire generally about the well-being of their loved ones but don’t be intrusive. Don’t become Dr. Love or Mr. Solve It All.

Genuinely ask about their future growth vision and goals. 

Keep confidentiality, and generate trust. A good leader is like a repository of secrets.  

Transformational Leaders are Enablers

Beware! What do you enable?

What the leader will enable, the same culture will rebound to him.

Modern-day leadership, in an organizational sense, is not limited to just passing orders, appearing on the day of the deadline, and reprimanding those who could not deliver. 

Leaders in organizational structure are placed in a formal setup. That’s why we call them the positions of “Formal Leadership.”

Training leaders to better understand the mechanisms of leading people may need to train leaders. The transactional approach simply never works.

Leaders are enablers. They assign the task but also know the problems the team members may face while executing their duties. Make adequate resources available. See the silent ones and their silent contributions, and communicate with them. Call them to know their opinions.

Aggression and Anger are also a Part of Leadership

Leadership is not about being a joker and a fairy simultaneously. There will be circumstances where criticisms, vital feedback, and anger will be needed. But can that be positively used? Yes.

In the face of criticisms and reprimands, the team will defend itself, and you need to accept that it is a natural human behavior tendency. And you are not required to be Mr. Nice Guy. If things get out of line, re-alignment may need strong calibrations. 

Leaders must stand strong in the face of such situations. But, here is the catch. Use this opportunity to explain the rationality behind the anger. Communicate the reason behind such reprimands and if any red lines are crossed, then have the chance to define the ‘acceptable’ and ‘non-acceptable strongly.’ 

Make sure that while giving strong feedback, you don’t do it publically. The goal is not to humiliate the team member. But explaining the reason is more important. It could be the falling performance standards, lack of professional ethics, too many breaks, being non-punctual, etc.

Clearly define, what is expected, what they have done, and what has been missing. 

And if taking any action, then being strong is needed. Don’t compromise discipline over leniency.

Strong leadership is also a desirable trait. No follower ever likes a lenient leader, or a leader they sense lacks a strong backbone and courage.

Happiness at Workplace is Leader’s Responsibility

Happiness at the workplace is more than just work-life balance. It is the whole culture of the organization.

But it does not translate to a lack of deadlines or responsibilities. Rather it’s the reverse. Have defined deadlines, clear-cut responsibilities, allotting tasks with set deadlines and follow-ups, etc

Being happy does not mean being oblivious or directionless. Rather having a strong sense of direction and progression while making the stay enjoyable and stress-free.

Let employees work at their pace as far as the deadlines are being met. But do keep a buffer time for any revisions or any unforeseen setbacks.

Transformational leadership is about letting employees work at their pace as far as the deadlines are being met. But do keep a buffer time for any revisions or any unforeseen setbacks. - Rajat Jhingan

Happiness here relates to enthusiasm, energy, and the willingness to work. You can’t smile, laugh, and be a joker all day. But having a positive attitude and communicating that positive attitude is the key.

There will be stressful situations and issues to solve. Solving the problems while being calm and instilling belief in the team and peers goes a long way. Have short sprints of work with regular breaks. Work is important; after all, it’s a workplace. We are all there for a reason, right?

One of the KPIs of Transformational leadership is a healthy ratio of employee retention, it is more than an HR imperative. High employee turnover is bad for business. Or should I say, what is bad for employee is worst for business. Click this link to learn about employee retention and 21 retention strategies for leaders.

Transformational Leadership Style – Creates Leaders, Not Followers

All employees love to grow. Okay! I won’t play ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Let’s be realistic. Some are there who are surviving from paycheques to paycheques while delivering their repetitive performance without any improvement no matter how much you motivate!

Gosh! It seems I have thrown the stone into the glasshouse. Yes, there are those types too, and all goodness is not to hide them but to find the employees willing to go the extra mile and make the workplace conducive for them. 

Raw Material for Next-Gen Leader

A level five leader nurtures, coaches and mentors the employees. But wait! He is no foolish person! He nurtures and mentors those willing to and ready to take pains for growth. I know it’s common sense, but let me put it in black and white.

Why do I say that? Because many employees will love the talk of growth but are never willing to go the extra mile. The ones who want to grow will take the initiative, suggest solutions, and be good finishers. That’s how you identify the raw material for the next-gen leader.

Level Five Leaders are Smart

Transformational leaders know where to invest time, energy, and experience—nurturing the leaders of the future first begins with an understanding of what it takes to be a leader and how to spot the leadership talent. 

Fantasizing to be a leader is one thing. But being a leader, being accountable, and taking responsibility for your and your follower’s actions is what, not all people are willing to do. Not all dare to be a leader. 

All the qualities can be taught, but Level Five Leaders don’t take kindergarten classes for personality development. Have some experience, and then enroll! (Ouch, that hit hard).

Importance of Training for Leadership

Leadership has many levels and many facets. Not all leaders face the same circumstances, but all have to deal with people.

The only common thing all leaders face is the unpredictable human behavior of their followers. What differentiates them is how they respond and rise to the occasions. Leadership training is one of the most important aspects.

Leaders are the ones who have the resources at their command and the power to shape the future. A leader who inculcates trust and gets work done is now a thing of the past.

A leader who empowers, enables, and asks other people to come forward is the thing of the present. But having all these qualities, training a future leader, and uniting everyone towards a common vision is the thing of the future. 

Leadership training is one of the most important aspects which should not be ignored. Training and skill upgrades should not be limited to rank and file; top management needs to adapt and learn. Remember! They have to lead by example and not speeches.

2 thoughts on “Transformational Leadership Style – Inspiring Change for Growth”

  1. Pingback: 10 Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneurs: Explained in Workable Manner - Rajat Jhingan

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