Moving towards an empowering environment for your team requires leading in a different way.
Becoming a ‘transformational leader’ responds well to changing times and needs. A transformational leader has an ability to take their organisation into uncharted waters; to change what’s done and how it’s done; who have an ability to reach out and touch people, inspire trust, and who try to make their part of the world a better place. They are values-driven … and they’re not satisfied unless they ‘make a difference’.
If your organisation has become risk-averse, mediocre, and bureaucratic, moving it from this stage to a more ‘can do’ culture requires a greater focus on doing things they are not used to doing! A greater focus is needed on people, vision and values. Your team needs to be engaged to become empowered. They need your personal contact, encouragement, motivation and, where necessary, direction.
Typical characteristics of a transformational leader will include these elements:
- ‘Divine discontent’ – they know that things must change
- Low tolerance of waste and a strong focus on continuous improvement
- Intuition is drawn on and trusted
- Uncertainty is an adventure, not a challenge
- Vision focuses on the longer-term and the ‘bigger picture’
- High levels of action, which is expected of others
- Passionate, clear and urgent communicator
- Complements their abilities through able and talented colleagues
- Able to use status when necessary, but does not feel the need to pull rank
- Always curious and always learning
- Clarity of personal values
- Energises team with their enthusiasm and drive
Transformational leaders do so from a values position. Throughout my career in public service I led from an aligned values position though mismatch occurred and upheaval happened.
Attempting to lead from a values-driven base is hard. In the past colleagues, staff and line managers have viewed me as a ‘rebel’, too entrepreneurial, too people-focused, and my service an anachronism! The going can be tough!
However, if you want to empower yourself and your team; if you want to make change effective; and do things that add value, then become a transformational leader.
I am certain that the results will astound you!
Quotes interspersed in this blog are there to provide inspiration to try it!
For further insight into the concepts of Empowerment and Transformational Leadership, one of my favourite books is “The David Solution” by Valerie Stewart (Gower) 1990.