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Friday, July 22, 2022

Lean Quote: Characteristics of Transformational Leadership

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Transformational leadership’s potential to address issues that are relevant in the modern, changing, and uncertain work environment is the main reason for its positive influence.  —  Beng-Chong Lim & Robert E. Ployhart, 2004

Introduced over thirty years ago, transformational leadership is defined as a “meaningful and creative exchange between leaders and their followers resulting in vision-driven change”. Transformational leaders achieve (reforming) goals by getting followers to put aside self-interest to achieve team and organizational goals and optimal performance. It is a radically influencing mindset that if implemented successfully, can yield tremendous results.  Management theories deduce that there are inherently four traits that are synonymous with all transformational leaders, those being:

Characteristics of Transformational Leadership

1. Putting other’s needs before your own

It means that you must be a selfless person. Transformational leaders value the cause they stand for as higher than their personal agendas. They gave up their personal ambition, comfort and luxury in order that the dream they envisioned may come to pass.

Such conviction from these leaders often inspire a huge following and thereby creating power for an idea and a movement. As such, many of the visions of these leaders live on long after their deaths.

2. Challenging the status quo

A transformational leader does not accept the status quo. The leader looks at the current realities and ask what can be better.

They are not satisfied with what they have at the moment. While others will see a status quo and complain about how the status quo is not perfect, a transformational leader courageously challenges it even in the face of opposition.

Many ask, “Why?”; but a transformational leader asks, “Why not?”

3. Inspiring your team

A transformational leader inspires the team with the beauty of the vision. He sees a better future and he articulates this future to the team.

The people who join the transformational leader often do so voluntarily; they are inspired by his vision too and also want to see that vision becoming reality.

4. Being a role model

Being a transformational leader means that you have to have impeccable character standards. While people do follow a vision, people do look at the person that is leading the vision. 

If the leader has a hint of hypocrisy or lack of integrity, the leader will lose his credibility and cause a lot of people to walk away. This is because most people join the leader voluntarily, and they will leave if they stop trusting the leader.

The leader needs to be a role model especially in their integrity and their responsibility. The leader must be true to himself and to others and must be ready to be accountable for all actions.

Whether for good or for worse, transformational leaders have truly changed the face of the world with their work.

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