5 Steps to Become a Transformational Leader
If you have read the book "Who Moved My Cheese" it really puts leadership and ownership in the most basic of terms. Essentially it asked, are you a "watcher" or are you a "doer"? And as a leader you should ask yourself, "What kind of leader am I?"
The corporate world is changing at a rapid pace and if you are not ready to adapt you could be left behind. It is essential for a leader, especially in this economy, to learn how to adapt to new scenarios. Everyday there are external changes to a corporation that may require you pivoting your organization. So, what kind of leader are you? Do you have what it takes to transform and adapt to changes that impact your organization?
Bernard Bass created a questionnaire called the "Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire" and its purpose is to reveal the blind spots of your leadership style. This tool can provide leaders with a contrast between how they see themselves and how others see them. Another tool you can use is the Johari Window.
So what does a transformational leader look like? A good transformational leader will have 5 key qualities:
It is important to be honest with yourself and your leadership style. You need to be able to self-reflect and assess yourself as a leader. Understand the qualities that make you a great leader and play to your strengths. Realize your weaknesses and build a team that bridges your gaps to provide a robust team that will be able to adjust to change.
No one person is better than a team. Having the ability to bring a team together that can collaborate and adjust quickly to change is critical to a transformational leader. I believe that ignorance is one of the biggest killers in the corporate world. After you do your self-analysis, and you were honest with yourself, it becomes clear that working with a team is much more beneficial than going at it alone.
Allow your past experiences to guide your future but always question the self-limiting beliefs that have been formed by previous experiences. Take time to think "big picture" and evaluate what is taking place externally - demographics, economics, new technology can influence your future success. It is important to always think about where you are headed and the possibility of growth, not only for yourself but as a team.
A leader is a coach, and as a coach you cannot directly alter or change your team, however you can influence them to be better and grow. It is not only beneficial for the company but personally rewarding to see someone reach their full potential.
Being adaptable is a lifesaver for a leader. Sometimes it is hard to scrap an idea or project, but it is often required for leaders. Being adaptable is the difference between "doers" and "watchers". Don't just watch the world change, change with it.
These steps should be followed in order because each one relies on the former. For instance it would be useless to try and think ahead about what needs to be done without evaluating yourself and where you will be in the future; as well as getting as much input from your team members.
Following these steps will allow you to grow both as an individual and a leader. It will give you all the necessary skills to effectively lead a team. As a leader, your job is to evaluate the situation and coach your team appropriately. If you make yourself adaptable, your team members will follow. Becoming a strong leader takes discipline. Your understanding that nothing is set in stone will help you in the future.