Transformational Leadership: Inspiring and Motivating Your Team
Leaders play a significant role in organizations, from providing guidance and inspiration to motivating employees to achieve certain goals. In brief, leadership has a significant impact on shaping the success of an organization in different aspects. However, different leaders adopt different leadership styles.
- Autocratic leadership: Leaders instruct what employees should do and expect specific results. It’s all about “commands.”
- Transformational leadership: Leaders motivate and engage their team and lead by example.
- Laissez-faire leadership: Leaders tend to keep their hands off and trust employees to accomplish assigned tasks, but they’re still available.
Transformational leadership is one leadership style that positively affects many organizational aspects, such as performance, job satisfaction, employee engagement, and the career development of a workforce. This article explores concepts of transformational leadership, what it takes to become a transformational leader, and how it can inspire and motivate teams.
What is Transformational Leadership?
Transformational leadership goes beyond rewarding employees on a performance basis; instead, leaders aim to inspire and motivate their team members to explore their full potential and achieve remarkable results. James MacGregor Burns, a leadership expert, is believed to be responsible for introducing transformative leadership. Burns describes transformational leaders as those who engage with their followers such that they raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.
Transformational leadership encourages, inspires, and motivates employees to create innovative changes and solutions that shape a company’s future success. Also, transformational leaders don’t micromanage their team members. More importantly, they strive to create a sense of purpose and prioritize employee development in the workplace. Lastly, transformational leaders have a strong sense of corporate culture.
Components of Transformational Leadership
A transformational leadership style is characterized by four key components that guide how to succeed as a leader.
- Inspirational motivation: A transformational leader should motivate team members to feel committed to the organization’s mission as they’re. This is effectively achieved by giving employees a sense of purpose, not fear. As a result, the team will be devoted to completing and delivering their responsibilities.
- Idealized influence: Transformational leaders ought to lead authentically by example since employees usually view them as role models. Idealized influence is about positively influencing others through a high standard of moral and ethical conduct.
- Intellectual stimulation: Transformational leaders should motivate their teams to solve problems creatively, innovate, and create change. They should help establish an environment that makes employees feel comfortable exploring unique ideas or growth opportunities that bring positive change to the organization.
- Individual consideration: Transformational leaders need to listen to employees’ concerns and needs. Also, they should understand what motivates people on an individual basis. Therefore, they should adapt and tailor their coaching and mentoring approach to suit the employee and help them reach their internal and external goals. It also means providing personalized support to employees.
How to Become a Transformational Leader
There are certain traits leaders can gradually adapt and practice to become leaders in a transformational style. They include:
- Walk the talk.
As a leader, you must lead by example: guide others through your behaviors and inspire them to do the same. Suppose you want a dedicated team with a strong work ethic. You should demonstrate the same traits in your leadership within the organization. In return, your team can easily respect and trust you and be more committed to the common goal.
- Foster a culture of learning.
A leader should encourage and support continuous learning and development within their team and provide opportunities to support the same. This approach helps employees build their skills and knowledge, boosting confidence in their work and ultimately contributing to the organization’s success.
- Be approachable and accessible.
A transformational leadership style requires leaders to create an open and inclusive environment where team members are comfortable sharing their opinions. That means a leader has to be open, listen, and be easy to talk to. More importantly, a leader must remain open-minded when engaging with their team members.
- Be adaptable to change.
Change is inevitable and constant, and leaders need to embrace it and find opportunities in it. Transformational leaders should be able to recognize, react, learn, and adjust to changes such as trends, innovations, or industry shifts. That’s why adaptability is one of the most sought-after qualities in leadership: it’s the secret sauce of leadership.
- Engage and motivate your team.
Employee engagement and motivation greatly impact the success of an organization’s goals. Transformational leaders achieve this by regularly giving feedback, offering career development opportunities, recognizing employee achievements, encouraging open communication, providing the needed resources, etc.
Transformational leadership is a powerful approach that impacts both employees and the organization. It leads to increased motivation, improved performance, better employee engagement, and innovations. It also encourages professional development and inspires employees to strive beyond their expectations. However, this leadership style requires leaders to understand their team members deeply.