In Part I, we looked at the first four steps for becoming a transformational leader, now we will touch base and see what the final three actions contain.
5. Watch your standards. Many organizations have being the best as a lofty goal. Unfortunately, many leaders possess the same desire. Some even strive for being the best at everything. This is unreal and unreasonable. Transformative leaders realize that we are all different and unique. Each of us is a cup of talent. The key is identifying and using that talent in positive ways. A transformative leader wanders around learning about each member of her team. She spends time discovering where talents are hidden and then she mines them. She asks team members to share what parts of their jobs they find energizing and what parts feel like drudgery.
Transformative leaders know how performance standards can help her team achieve great results. She also knows that a standard set too high can be demotivating, so she ensures that individuals have motivating performance standards that make them stretch, but not break. Then she provides resources, enthusiasm and interest to stoke each person’s motivational engine. A transformative leader knows everyone can succeed, but not everyone will be an “A” student with every task. Transformative leaders grow their people while respecting individual talents and differences.
6. Embrace the contrarian. Transformative leaders welcome dissent. They respond to it, not react to it. When a team member voices dissent it shows two important characteristics: 1) this individual feels safe when speaking up in this environment and 2) this person cares. Transformative leaders know this intuitively. They know that when voicing a differing view, this person trusts that you, the leader, will not snap. This person knows that you will not argue, but listen with curiosity. As a transformative leader, you realize that dissenting voices are the ‘developmental glue’ of your organization. Diversity of opinions is healthy and an asset, not a threat. Reward dissenters who can speak their mind in a kind, caring, respectful and constructive way.
7. Monitor your use of power. Transformative leaders realize they have power and, if they have strong personalities, they learn how to dial it down. By title alone, leaders have power. This is not a good power to leverage. This is positional power. Using positional power leads to compliance in your organization. Leaders who transform organizations using “purpose power” and “communication power” to make things happen. Transformative leaders give power to others, too. They let people with concepts and ideas run with them. They hold constructive, supportive dialogues to teach and assist emerging leaders at all levels.
So are you a transformative leader? Have you had the pleasure to work with someone who demonstrated these traits? We’d love to know what that experience was like for you. Send Bluheron an email, I’d love to hear from you.
Bluheron Coaching & Consulting works with leaders and organization to improve people, process and performance. If you are frustrated by overwhelm, lack of productivity and don’t know what to do next, give us a call at 303-720-9262 We’d be delighted to talk with you during a 90 minutes complimentary discovery session.