By Dr. Steve Broe, executive coach
Life is vibration. Galaxies and asteroids, oceans and continents, electrons and protons all vibrate. Managers and leaders also bring a kind of vibration to their workplace. When a leader works with their team, activities follow a predictable orbit of behavior. It is comforting to see that work and motion remain stable within known patterns and ranges.
Occasionally, a quantum shift happens to the way people work. Leaders often initiate change; however, not all leaders change the nature of work. When a shift happens in the way people work, the cause is often due to a transformational leader. These people are game changers.
You have known leaders in your career, but few, if any, leaders are transformational. However, a transformational leader does not have to create world-shaking changes. Any leader who changes the vibration pattern with the way people work or live can be considered a transformational leader.
Do you want to be a transformational leader? Here are four behaviors that experts (McGregor, 1978, Leadership; Bass, 1985, Leadership And Performance Beyond Expectation) agree mark the work of a transformational leader:
1. CONCERN FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
The transformational leader regards every person on a team as a unique contributor. Each person has fears, needs, and motivation priorities. The leader pays attention to every colleague and responds to them with individualized consideration.
2. INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION
Presenting a vision of a possible and better future, the transformational leader encourages all followers to participate in making the vision work. A leader will encourage others to be innovative and develop their creative talents. New ideas are encouraged by a transformational leader, and instead of attacking new ideas, people find ways to make these ideas work.
3. PROVIDER OF INSPIRATION
People want to have reasons to hope. A great leader will challenge followers to do work because it means something important to them. An inspirational leader finds a way of connecting each person’s efforts with the mission of the team. A transformational leader can change the vibrational level of the team, and followers share the inspirational message with the leader.
4. LEADS THROUGH INFLUENCE
Great leaders don’t need to command. They have learned the skill of influence: encouraging others to work with them because they want to do so. Transformational leaders are usually role models in the work, helping others to do their best work. The skill of influence builds on emotional intelligence and the power of conviction. Leaders offer the following to others: “Work with me, and I will help you become a stronger leader, too.”
Aim high. Look for ways to improve your work and your world. With deep conviction and a vision of a better way to work, you might succeed as a transformational leader.