A transformer can be a leader who transforms an organization. They assist in transforming energy from one person to another.
The overall mission of leadership is to cause change – in other words to transform people and the organization. They connect in the truest sense with employees, by identifying with them and who they are and aligning the business goals and objectives with the strengths of their associates. Transformational leaders influence perceptions and values and impacts expectations and aspirations of employees. They live and breathe an energizing vision and challenge the organization to excel at every level.
To me, one of the true joys of working with a leader is the fact that they provide intellectual stimulation. This stokes the flame of creativity, risk-taking and independent thinking through their probing. We tend to think more deeply and thus make better decisions and feel better about ourselves.
A transformational leader provides purpose and instills drive and energy in the organization. They are role models for high ethical behavior, and respect for others. They are passionate, enthusiastic and involved leaders. The fact is: To change and improve an organization embodies transformation.
When leaders share their vision, employees are inspired, embrace change and are motivated to reach or exceed a common cause. The magic of a transformational leader is that they motivate us to do more than is expected of us. We put aside self-interest for the good of the organization. In the truest sense, employees live the company values and are given a true purpose as well as dreaming bigger in terms of what the organization can become.
The transformational leader facilitates the decisions needed to generate value, realize strategies, overcome obstacles and threats and exploit opportunities. They break down walls that impact decision-making and empower employees to make decisions that will drive growth and positively impact the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. The focus is to put the decision in the hands of employees who are capable and closer to the action. In essence, the decision-making privilege is put in the hands of employees possessing the relevant information and clear line of sight to have the greatest positive impact. How is that for transformation?
This results in reducing bottlenecks and improved decision-making. The foundation of transformational leadership is true collaboration and shared decision-making.
From my perspective, human capital is the most precious asset in a company’s portfolio. Granting employees the right and responsibility to own and make decisions transforms the culture and is true empowerment. The transformational leader displays the following characteristics:
- They keep control of their ego. And put the organizational needs before their own.
- They share a stream of organizational consciousness, and are attuned to the needs and emotions of the employees.
- They truly value each and every employee and listen to understand. This creates the fire of inspiration.
- Risk-taking is encouraged and rewarded.
- They set high standards for themselves and the organization.
- They are optimistic and enthusiastic.
- They celebrate positive outcomes.
- They unleash the energy, potential and creativity in others.
- They are both people- and purpose-centric.
- They play to the strengths of others.
“A leader’s goal is not perfection. A leader’s goal is to know where he or she is imperfect, and leverage the strengths of other team members to fill in those gaps.” – Walt Disney
Transformational leaders are very action-oriented, but possess the wisdom to reflect and balance action with the insight of reflection. This is paramount of a leading organization. A true transformational leader connects with people, which reinforces integrity and credibility with all stakeholders. They are keen to recognize and acknowledge the talents in others.
Consider the wisdom of John Quincy Adams, who said,“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, you are a leader.”
Which begs the question: Are you a transformer?