Transformative Leadership: A way to enhance your business culture through leadership
- According to the research cited by the Wall Street Journal, leaders need to be humble to enable effective teamwork and achieve greater employee performance
- Transformative leaders are curious, inspire people to do great jobs, focus on accountability and are approachable unlike authoritarian leaders who command, abuse and spoil people’s ideas and opinions
- The concept of transformative leadership is very important to flourish in organizations and achieve their targeted goals. However, this concept is not suitable for small organizations in various cases if the leadership only focuses on values and norms.
What are the characteristics of a transformational leader?
Leaders tend to lead with inspiration as opposed to authority. Extraversion and agreeableness are the two distinct personality traits that predict transformational leadership. Extraversion trait in a transformative leader in itself is charismatic and expressive which is highly influential, persuasive and mobilizing. It also leads individuals to be sociable and dominant. Agreeable leaders feel comfortable to be kind and humble towards others. In the case of transformational leaders, they have an idea to influence their followers. These leaders behave in a way that gains admiration and respect from the people around them. They will be set as a trustworthy person or the role model in front of others.
What is the relationship between self-esteem and transformational leadership?
There is a very strong and deep relationship between the terms of self-esteem and transformational leadership. Transformational leadership cannot be easily adopted unless there is high self-esteem in an individual. It becomes more difficult and less natural to adopt this leadership without the presence of self-esteem. Self-esteem simply refers to a person believing them as a significant, worthy and also capable member of the team or organization in which they live in. An individual can have easy access to his/her strengths and weakness only when there is self-respect inside him. A person with low self-esteem and self-awareness absorbs negativity and is inadequate and unworthy to accept reality.
These are some of the things transformational leaders do differently:
- 1. Curiosity: Transformative leaders are exceptionally curious. These leaders want to know about other’s needs and goals. These people ask powerful questions that compel people to move from words into action. They try to know the expectations and personality of other individuals and fulfil their demand which in turn benefits their organization. They feel that every individual is equally important and responsible in their organization.
- 2. Inspiration: Transformative leaders inspire people to do great jobs and they appreciate brilliant ideas. However, in case if they lack inspiration within them, they depend on the three “Ds” (decisions, dedication and discipline). This helps themselves and others to be focused on common goals. They are good at visualizing the future and act accordingly.
- 3. Clear about expectations: Transformative leaders remain focused on mutual accountability. They set some standards in their mind and try to communicate about their expectations with others. These leaders believe in proving and receiving feedback. Feedback often helps individuals to prepare for the future.
- 4. Create a sense of urgency: These leaders continuously focus on mission and work to provide resources so that it could be optimized through effective and efficient utilization. They work hard to remove direct or indirect obstacles. Their hard work motivates others to complete the task in the stipulated time period.
- 5. Accessible and aware: These leaders are available and approachable and make the stakeholders aware of the existing conditions. These leaders must have basic knowledge of various aspects to take important decisions on behalf of the organization. These leaders suggest the experts on what struggles their organization is going through and what sorts of developmental opportunities are needed.
Why is the transformational leadership becoming popular?
Leadership is becoming very necessary in most companies because of its various advantages. One of the major benefits of such leadership is that it treats people as individuals. Transformational leaders believe that their followers do have equal knowledge, skills, and experience and seek to bring out the best in them. In this way, employees feel supported which enables them to work hard. However, this leadership might vary from person to person depending upon his/her personality and the way the person exercises power.
Transformational leadership also has pros and cons and leaders need to decide whether it is suitable for their businesses or not. Some of its advantages are:
- Employees are united in a common cause: Transformational leaders quickly analyze the current situation and create a vision for the upliftment and growth of the country. For example: When the epidemic disease corona-virus has badly hampered our day-to-day life due to shut down of factories, airports, and colleges, transformative leaders have created the best solutions to work from home. In this way, employees are even motivated to what is asked for them that enables their productivity.
- Reduces turnover costs: Employees do not stay in a particular organization for their entire life. Therefore, there is always the cost for the company in finding and training a replacement. Transformational leaders reduce this turnover cost be making the existing employees more engaged and included in the organization. Employees are more likely to feel like they are sharing the common goal with co-workers and they need to achieve the specified target. Besides, if people match the culture and behaviours of the business, they tend to stick around.
- Creates and manages change: Companies must be willing to embrace the changes that come through various factors. However, change is very difficult to adopt since many people cannot adjust it. This is because the employees are scared or feel suspicious about the new way of doing things. Some believe it may even worsen the situation than before. In such a situation, transformational leaders sell their ability and create an inspiring new vision that helps employees to adjust to the changes. This style of leadership, however, focuses on the good impacts of the change rather than the negative one. Leaders tell people how they can contribute to the greater good. This makes workers even to enjoy the changes seen presently.
- Keeps the company open and ethical: Integrity is the significant value of transformational leaders. Their entire energy is based upon being faithful, transparent and accountable. They believe in the values, codes, and norms of the organization in which they live. These leaders are always focused on doing right-things rather than the profitable one. They tend to be value-driven and ethics centered which encourages not only employees but also the external users of the organization. The image of the company in front of the government or society is highly strengthened which frees them from various restrictions.
Some of the disadvantages of transformational leadership include the following:
- It’s the too big picture: The weakness of transformational leadership is that it’s excessively conceptual and is missing the responsibility that some employees need to go when they perform their duties. Transformational leaders would never like to engage themselves in details. However, every organization needs organizational planning to help it achieve its vision.
- It can lead to Employee Burnout: Some employees feel like the presence of transformational leaders as constant pressure. Transformational leaders put a lot of emphasis on company culture and values. This constantly pushes the company backwards and is unable to enjoy achievements. Thus, it causes and burnout in some employees who seek for greater output and accomplishments.
- It can be risky and disruptive: The leadership becomes disruptive if it happens frequently. It is also detrimental if the leaders take unnecessary risks without analyzing the actual return upon that risk. Transformational leaders are hired within the organization with the specific goal of creating some positive change within the organization. However, while trying to do so some minor changes might create some negative impact instead of positive. It is more likely to produce negative outcomes if the leader fails to objectively recognize whether this particular change is the appropriate response.
- Requires a Continuous Feedback Loop: This type of leadership works only when there is continuous communication available. Transformational leaders believe that enthusiasm levels need to be high. This requires a lot of meetings and feedback-week in week or month in the month to be successful. This will lose commitment to the vision. Thus, continuous feedback might not be appropriate in a small organization where employees are already targeted to the vision.
- Leaders Lose Power if People disagree with them: Transformational leadership relies on employees being intrinsically motivated to work hard. However, if employees do not care about hearing, feeling and connecting with the vision, then intrinsically motivated will be lacking. On the other hand, there may be insufficient transactional motivators to encourage any type of response. Therefore, this imbalance may fail the transformational initiatives.
Transformational leadership is an emerging concept that enables leaders to have a high level of awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. Companies now need to think that they are no longer established to complete an everyday routine transaction but to fulfil the dream of their stakeholders, society, and country. Therefore, there need to be fantastic and sensual changes, not transactional but transformative changes.