In this blog post, we will focus on the process of transformational leadership. Developing visionary thinking and bringing about change.
- A leader purses a passionate and personal cause.
- An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow.
- An executive, developing the organisations strategy to be successful.
Leaders enable other people to flourish. They set direction by building an inspiring vision. Leadership is about mapping out the journey with others to reach the vision. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the destination, in a smooth and efficient way. Leadership means different things to different people and different things in different situations. For example, it could relate to community leadership, religious leadership, political leadership, and leadership of campaigning groups.
A leader is a person who:
1 Creates an inspiring a vision.
2 Motivates and inspires people to engage with the vision.
3 Manages delivery of the vision.
4 Mentors people and builds a team,
Leadership brings together the skills needed to do these things. We’ll look at each element in more detail.
1. Creating an inspiring a vision
A vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive depiction of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker, so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve. Once they have developed the vision, leaders make them compelling and convincing. A vision is one that people can see, feel, understand, and embrace. Effective leaders provide a rich picture of what the future will look like when their visions have been realised. They tell stories and explain their visions in ways that everyone can relate to. And yet they begin the journey from where they are now.
Here, leadership combines the analytical side of vision creation with the passion of shared values, creating something that’s really meaningful to the people being led.
2. Motivating and Inspiring People
A compelling vision provides the foundation for leadership. But it’s leaders’ ability to motivate and inspire people actually delivers the vision. For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s often easy to win support for it at the beginning. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your vision inspiring after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the organisation needs to make significant changes in the way that it does things. Leaders recognise this, and they work hard throughout the project to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals and aspirations. Approaches include restating the vision in terms of the benefits it will bring to people, and taking frequent opportunities to communicate the vision in an attractive and engaging way.
3. Managing Delivery of the Vision
Being a leader requires a certain amount of management. During a project there is a time to tell, a time to sell, a time to participate, and a time to delegate. Knowing which approach to use and when to use it is a key to effective leadership. Leaders must ensure that the work needed to deliver the vision is properly managed and team members need performance goals that are linked to the overall vision. Ensuring what should happen actually happens. Leaders also need to make sure they manage change effectively. This helps to ensure that the changes needed to deliver the vision are implemented smoothly and thoroughly, with the support and backing of the people affected.
4. Coaching and building a team to achieve the vision
Individual and team development are important activities carried out by transformational leaders. A leader will ensure that team members have the necessary skills and abilities to do their job and achieve the vision. Mentoring, training and encouraging people to improve are key skills. Looking for leadership potential in people is a true measure of great leadership.
To Conclude leadership can be hard to define as it means different things to different people.In the transformational leadership model, leaders set direction by creating an inspiring vision, and then motivate and inspire others to reach that vision. They also manage delivery of the vision, either directly or indirectly, and build and coach their teams to make them ever stronger.