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Why do we need Transformational Leaders more than ever?

We look around and we see a world that we did not foresee. If some months ago we were reading about the VUCA world in organizations, nowadays we are all living it.

Yes, we care more than before, because we are in this together. And we do care about our leaders, because we know that only with a good vision we will manage to shape a better future together. Thus, as consultants, leaders and team members we ask ourselves:

What kind of leadership the world of today needs?

Extensive research is showing that Transformational Leadership is the most effective style in times of change and crisis (Berson & Avolio, 2004). Nothing can transform an organization faster and prepare an organization better for future success than skilled transformational leaders (Warrick, 2011).

What does it mean to be a Transformational Leader?

Surprisingly, if you ask people about the characteristics of the most effective leaders they had so far, they will start telling you the features of the transformational style. 

How so?

Well, we do not need a theoretical framework to recognize these leaders. They make an impact on others by being inspirational and by providing a vision and new possibilities of what is possible to achieve. Unlike the transactional leadership, based on the “give and take” approach, a transformational leader has the power to transform people, and drive them to innovate and accomplish more than expected.

They manage to engage their followers by being a moral model, leading with intuition and confidence in themselves and their team. Also, they are coaching people and making them shift perspectives in order to integrate new ways of acting to keep performing.

Let’s take a look at our environments. Change is the only constant. Can you imagine a leader that embraces the change and moreover, creates the change?

Sounds like a super hero leader, and maybe it is, taking into account that his task today is similar to the one of a soldier on the battlefield. What transformational leaders do differently is integrating the emerging trends and aligning people with the changes in the organisation to create more adaptive firms.

Transformational Leadership is part of the Full Range Leadership Model researched by Avolio & Bass, 199, and presents 5 main dimensions:
Empowers Others
Motivating people by providing meaning and challenge

Encourages Innovative Thinking
Questioning assumptions, reframing problems, and approaching old situations in new ways

Builds Trust/ Inspires others
 Through listening, asking powerful questions and executive presence  
Going beyond own individual interests and focusing on the interests of the group

Acts with Integrity/ Builds a vision
Collaborating and co-creating a new direction together with the team
Sharing values and considering the moral and ethical consequences of their actions

Coaches & Develop People
Acting as a coach, developing new learning opportunities

All major advanced economies will be in recession this year according to International Monetary Fund (IMF). If yesterday, Transformational Leadership was something nice to have because many business were working out of inertia, today this is indispensable.

Let’s learn from examples of big businesses like Apple, Google, Amazon and others that have trained transformational leaders inside since long ago.

What is the right time to train and equip your leaders with transformational skills?

It was yesterday.

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