All business industries are filled with tremendous competition. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worst. So many restrictions are hanging on the board and businesses are bound to think from different angles to make everything functional. In spite of having all the best tools and technologies for all your teams, you may find them disengaged as well as uninspired. You are not alone in who is facing such a situation but also there are a lot of business organizations with the same scenario. Even after having the best infrastructure, it is tough to engage and inspire employees in such a pandemic situation. But according to experts, transformational leadership is something that can bring the required effectiveness to inspire employees despite a very tough situation.
What is this transformational leadership?
Transformational leadership is known as a leading leadership style of leaders to encourage, motivate, and inspire all employees at the best level. Transformational leadership actually boosts innovation and lets employees create fruitful changes that bring many benefits for the future of the business. It does not include micromanaging yet inspire as well as motivate the entire workforce.
Transformational leaders generally trust trained employees and let them take authority over decisions in terms of assigned jobs. We can say that transformational leadership is actually a foolproof style to give more space to employees. So that they can become more creative, productive, and bring innovative solutions to solve all existing as well as emerging problems. At the same time, employees will be trained accordingly so that they can become the next successful transformational leaders and bring more benefits to the plate.
In order to understand transformational leadership, we have to explore more about the transformational leadership model and transformational leadership characteristics.
Transformational leadership model
The concept was introduced for the very first time by James V. Downton in 1973. The popularity of this model started to expand with the help of James Burns in 1978. This model solely encourages all leaders to enable an ideal leadership in innovative ways so that employees feel attracted to follow the suit.
Bass’ model of transformational leadership has taken place in the 70s but it is still effective and many businesses are practicing it. Or we can say that the style of authentic leadership is a constant thing and it never changes. But the environment is not certain. This kind of leadership can be applied across all industries. But we can see the prominent practice of transformational leadership in the fast-growth tech industry as here innovation and agility together can make or break a company.
Transformational leadership characteristics
There are various types of leadership styles but transformation leadership is different. Transformational leaders also have some special characteristics that we do not get in other leaders who follow a different leadership style. According to Bass, there are some hallmark leadership characteristics that make a leader different than others.
A transformational leader will-
- Encourage the positive development of followers
- Set example of moral standards within the organizational setting
- Creates an ethical work environment with standards, priorities, and values
- Develops an ideal company culture so that employees move from a self-interest mindset to a broader mindset of achieving a common good
- Creates an environment for constant authenticity, cooperation, and open communication
- Offers constructive coaching and mentoring and at the same time also lets employees make effective decisions and take proper ownership of the task
Transformational leadership is effective in many ways for a business. If you are yet to enable it, let’s learn the importance of it.
How does transformational leadership take a business to the next level?
An organization grows faster when it has sufficient leaders who know well how to inspire as well as motivate employees to achieve the common good. But we have also seen that there are many companies where leaders keep minimum to zero connection with the rest of the organization. Even in some companies, employees are not even aware of the C-level executives of the company. And as a result, these companies suffer from less employee engagement rates.
There are a lot of characteristics that simply make a transformational leader different than others. Research says transformational leadership includes some different yet effective aspects that change the entire scenario and take the company to a better place.
Intrinsic motivation and positive development of employees
When it comes to bringing the desired business success, transformational leaders do not leave any stone unturned. They have mastered the ways of motivating people to bring the common good. These leaders constantly motivate people and empower them rightly. In this way, followers or employees can invest themselves through their careers. In other leadership styles, we have seen that even after having too many meetings and training sessions, grabbing the entire attention of all employees becomes a challenge. But transformational leaders are truly well versed with leadership communication and authentic voice. In this way, they easily cut any unnecessary noise and grab the attention of employees and direct them in the best direction.
Moral standard awareness
Setting a team moral standard is important so that each team member stays on the same page and matches the vibe of the organization. We have also seen that many transformational leaders do not work only to get great performance and productivity from employees but they work to set a robust company culture as well as standard so that these can easily shape the future. Teams with high morals do their best when it comes to taking the company to a better position. While setting morals, they do not follow any one-size-fits-all type of morals that nearly all companies follow. They analyze every factor associated with the growth and future of the company and only then they do set moral standards for the teams.
Prioritizing actual important tasks
An efficient transformational leader always focuses on the actual important tasks. They are simply amazing at prioritizing work. There are many leaders who do not set clear goals in front of their teammates and as a result, employees go ahead for any undesigned future. In such a situation, employees keep going but why they are going and to achieve what remains a mystery to them. A transformational leader never creates such a scenario or atmosphere for the organization or the team. On the organizational level, transformational leaders inform all associated employees about the company, what the company is doing, and goals to achieve.
Today’s employees are smarter and equipped with the best knowledge and tools. And that’s why they expect complete transparency from their leaders. It is really effective to trust leaders and employers. If employees cannot know more about the company and all processes, a fishy environment will take place and that can lead to heavy employee turnover.
According to research, there are many companies that are simply lacking standard transparency. There is a big transparency gap in many organizations. Only 18% of leaders believe that they have created an open as well as transparent model. 37% of leaders are not sure of their ability to create trust. 60% of leaders are not okay with the employees’ perception of transparency. And a certain percentage of leaders think that there are competitive disadvantages caused due to a lack of required transparency.
An ethical climate development to share values and standards
Transformational leaders are also responsible to shape the ethical climate of an organization. In order to make it possible, they conduct consistent workplace communication. When it is about the success of a business organization, it is important to keep all employees on the same page. And transformational leaders make it possible without making everyone pour a lot of effort.
They know well how to organize all organizational values with their employee’s personal values. Each employee should get a welcoming environment where they can easily share values and maintain high ethical standards.
Creating such a climate inside the organization and making everyone comfortable with it is not a flimsy thing. It takes years of practice with regular monitoring by these leaders. Ethical climate development does not mean any changes will take place over time. New changes will come, employees will adopt them but everything will follow an effective system. The climate will adopt new changes but moral or high ethical values will not be considered due to any kind of new changes.
Encouraging employees to think more about the common good
Each employee is considered about personal growth and development. Organizations should take care of the personal growth and development of employees. There are a lot of employees who are self-centered and prefer personal growth instead of team growth. It is not that they possess a bad mindset but they do not get a welcoming climate where achieving both personal and team success runs simultaneously.
When it comes to achieving something great, employees cannot make it possible individually as it is complete teamwork. Transformational leaders are there to enable an amazing process as well as a suitable environment where employees can achieve both personal growth and team success.
Employees get constant inspiration, motivation, training, and practical examples to achieve both. And over time, they master how to handle both aspects easily.
The sudden hit of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation more complicated for leaders to keep all employees truly connected with each other. In order to keep them connected and to track, leaders are also having advanced solutions like HRMS software, employee management software, various free and paid communication software, and so on.
Leaders should also concentrate on cross-functional collaboration as it is getting hampered due to sudden changes in the industry caused by the pandemic. When cross-functional collaboration suffers, there is a high chance of making employees only concentrated on their own interests instead of the common good of the organization.
Establishing cooperation and harmony
These leaders are amazing in terms of developing the energy and passion that can easily fuel cohesion among peers and all team members. They know well how to establish harmony in an organizational setting to let all team members achieve the same business goal.
“Transformational leader needs to have a solid understanding of the necessary goals to be successful and be articulate in explaining those goals and the method to which they are to be achieved.“- James MacGregor Burns
To achieve a big goal, there will be small goals for each employee and many employees find it difficult to define their own work goals. In such a situation, transformational leaders provide adequate guidance to easily define and achieve those goals.
Individual coaching and monitoring for employees
Transformational leadership is truly effective in taking an individual approach to boost the growth and development of each employee. According to expert transformational leaders, each employee should get individual coaching and monitoring in order to grow and develop better. Individual coaching and monitoring help in strengthening the confidence of employees. A confident employee can find effective solutions to solve any work-related problems.
Only training sessions with lots of employees is not effective when it is about super strengthening a team. Individual coaching is important. While providing individual training, transformational leaders keep a close eye on each employee to measure their development and skill enhancement. When each employee of an organization becomes more powerful, it is destined that the company is all set to reach a better position in the industry.
From the above-discussed points, we can understand that transformational leadership helps in many ways in order to take a business to a better position. Transformational leaders come with some amazing transformational leadership characteristics that simply make the entire process more organized and effective for business growth. We can say that it is all about boosting the underlying strength and efficiency of each employee to bring the common good for the sake of personal and organizational growth. Generally, there are 4 elements of transformational leadership, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation. Based on these 4 elements, the entire transformational leadership module has been fixed. Transformational leaders use these 4 elements in their own ways to bring and establish common good in an organizational setting.