5 Characteristics of transformational leaders

These are what set innovative, impactful industry leaders apart from the rest.

To succeed in these constantly changing times, leaders need to look beyond managing day-to-day transactional operations and work towards becoming transformational leaders who create opportunities for growth and positive change. It involves transforming yourself as well your organisation so as to make a long-term impact on organisational growth. So who makes for an effective transformational leader? Here are some of the qualities they possess.

1. They hold themselves personally accountable
Transformational leaders know the power to change rests with them. They affect change by first starting with themselves. They don’t wait for others to initiate it or to change first. The push comes from within. And being a part of the equation means they ask what they can do/are doing to the reach the goal set. How can they contribute towards the desired outcome? It isn’t just about setting up a roadmap for organisational transformation, but about ensuring they themselves are a part of it. They don’t allow themselves to practice the blame game. The buck truly does stop with them.

2. They are agile
Such leaders are willing to experiment with new approaches and behaviours if the old ones aren’t working. They understand the need to be flexible in their approach and adapt to new situations that require a different mindset. While their core beliefs stay the same, transformational leaders are always on the lookout for ways to develop new skills, new habits and behaviours that will help them be more agile.

3. They keep their ego in check
Confidence is often overwhelmed by ego when one is in a position of power. But smart leaders know that it’s important to keep a check on their ego and monitor whether it’s coming in the way of doing what is best for the team and the business. This means putting the company first, above any personal gain. To do so leaders need to ask for quality feedback from within the organisation regularly, instil a culture that encourages others to share their ideas. If the business succeeds then so does the leader.

4. They don’t make assumptions
It’s the easiest thing to jump to conclusions and pass judgement so as to make a decision. We do it all the time. Whether it’s about a particular route we take to work or how we handle an errant employee. We often tend to do this quite unconsciously. So the trick is to be aware of these unconscious habits, as leaders can’t afford to slip up, because of an incorrect assumption, in today’s constantly changing world. When in a difficult situation, ask yourself if what you’re assuming is actually the truth. Question your truth of the situation. Is there another way of looking at the situation? Often a change in perspective will lead to another approach to reach the goal set.

5. They are willing to take calculated risks
Fear of failure can cause some leaders to avoid taking risks unless absolutely necessary. But smart leaders understand that risks are necessary for success. So they bank on calculated risks, after they have thoroughly researched and evaluated the situation. They support their gut feeling with data and intelligence gathered. Not all calculated risks pan out, but without them there are limited avenues for change and growth. 

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