There are many types of leadership styles and no shortage of books and courses on the subject. This post is going to focus on one style called Transformational Leadership for the simple reason that it speaks to people’s heart.
Emotional awareness is a conduit in developing a Transformational Leadership style and aligns perfectly with developing conflict management skills.
James MacGregor Burns introduced the concept of transformational leadership in his book Leadership (1978) and was one of the first scholars to assure that true leadership not only creates change and achieves goals within the environment, but changes the people involved in the necessary actions for the better as well.
To develop your skill as a Transformational Leader it begins with increasing your self awareness of your own thoughts and feelings and how these affect your actions as well as the thoughts, attitudes and actions of others. A powerful tool I use to help my clients increase their self awareness of their connection to thoughts and behaviours is called the Strength Deployment Inventory
According to Professor Iain Hay, authentic transformational leadership fosters the values of:
- Human Rights
As a Leader, your role is to navigate change and produce results. Your particular style of Leadership will determine the ways and means of accomplishing this. For a Transformational Leader, you accomplish positive results demonstrating the following 10 behaviours*:
- Inspire vision of the organizations future
- Bring out the best in individuals and teams
- Invest in yourself and others
- Develop a culture of collaboration
- Ensure everyone in the organization has the opportunity to demonstrate Leadership
- Build Trust
- Continually commit, enforce and model Leadership
- Foster higher moral maturity in others
- Seek the greatest good for the greatest number
- Foster interdependent work relationships centred on a common purpose
*Adapted from Air University Leadership document written by Col. Mark A Homrig
How does a Transformational Leader Inspire People?
In an interview with Founder/Director of Influencer Academy, Alexia Vernon, Journalist and Human-Centred Design Strategist Jen Leonard is quoted to say “There is so much more to us as leaders than our intellect. It’s important to connect to our feelings so that we’re honest and open and energized by our own personal experience. Being willing to be strengthened by our human vulnerability is the true foundation for transformational leadership.”
Inspiration starts with understanding people’s “Why” and this Ted Talk from Leadership and Management consultant Simon Sinek sums it up beautifully…