Effective team leadership can be defined in many ways, but for the purposes of today, I’d like to define it in terms of a concept that’s near and dear to my heart: transformational leadership. I’ve spent a good chunk of my career as a transformational leadership expert, and I’m more convinced with each passing day that effective team leadership and transformational team leadership are basically the same thing.
In this post, we’ll look together at what transformational leadership is; I’ll explain why I think it’s so advantageous; and I’ll even point you toward a few small steps you can take to start honing your own transformational leadership abilities.
Understanding Transformational Leadership
Naturally, as a transformational leadership expert, I spend a lot of my time explaining to people what this important term really means.
The core of it is right there in that word transform. When you embrace this leadership style, you actively try to change your team members; you try to be the catalyst of positive transformation that yields improved processes, collaboration, innovation, creativity, etc.
The transformational leader enhances employee morale and performance; provides a strong sense of purpose to motivate this change; and ultimately creates a work environment that’s characterized by trust.
Another way to think about transformational leadership is to contrast it with more traditional leadership approaches. These tend to be more transactional in nature; you do something, I pay you, that’s it. Transformational leadership can certainly include this element (by all means, keep paying your people!), but it also looks to the more holistic development of the person.
I believe, if you’re wondering how to be a good team leader, that transformational leadership holds the key… now let me explain why.
Why Transformational Leadership is Valuable
A few of the primary benefits of transformational leadership include:
- Holistic performance improvement. Through inspiration and motivation, you can encourage your employees to step up their game in all facets of their professional life; you create an environment in which people want to shine.
- Freedom of failure. Transformational leadership also creates a space in which people feel comfortable trying new things and taking big swings… without fearing reprisal if they mess up or make a mistake. This freedom to fail can turn your company into a hub of innovative thinking.
- Long-term relationship-building. Through transformational leadership, you show your employees that you’ve invested in them over the long haul… that you want to see them become the absolute best they can be. This helps create loyalty, build team cohesion, and reduce turnover costs.
- Vision casting. Finally, when you’re a leader who motivates and genuinely inspires, employees will be far more likely to embrace the vision you cast. In other words, transformational leadership can help you maximize buy-in on new initiatives or projects.
These are just a few of the reasons why I think transformational team leadership is effective team leadership. Now we come to the crux of the matter: How to be a good team leader by implementing these transformational strategies.
How to Be a Good Team Leader
As a transformational leadership expert, here are some of my favorite solutions for embracing a transformational approach.
- Expand your situational awareness. This is a good place to start; you see, transformational leaders have to be aware of the fact that any workplace is a fluid situation, and any company can undergo some ebb and flow. Take the time to regularly appraise the current state of your company, and where you think it’s headed; think about culture, short- and long-term goals, morale, etc.
- Lead by example. You’ve always got to remember that your employees are looking up to you and taking cues from your behavior. Show them the kind of positivity and innovation-mindedness you want to see.
- Retool your feedback process. How often do you provide employees with formal or informal feedback? How often do you praise them for what they do right? And is your constructive criticism truly constructive, or does it amount to scolding? Make sure you have an intentional, dynamic, and value-adding approach to giving feedback.
- Open your door. Along the same lines, transformational leaders need to be willing to accept feedback! Have an open door policy and let team members know that you are always happy to hear their concerns or their suggestions for improvement.
- Invest in development. A big component of transformational leadership is providing employees with plenty of chances to hone their skills. Make sure you have a formal structure in place for staff education, coaching, and development. (You could even bring in a transformational leadership expert to do some focused, fun coaching!)
These are just a few of the ways in which good leaders can take things to the next level, embracing some of the values of the transformational approach.
Speak with a Transformational Leadership Expert
I’d love to chat with you about anything I’ve written about here. As an in-demand speaker and coach, I’ve counseled many prominent leaders on how to be more transformational in their approach. I’d love to lend you that same expertise.
When you’re ready to talk, give me a shout. Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098. Let’s get deep into the weeds of transformational leadership and all its attending benefits!