Transformational leadership is about change. Good leaders focus on getting the job done—doing what’s necessary to complete the tasks at hand. Great leaders focus on the people involved, seeing each task as both an objective and opportunity.
Transformational leadership achieves goals while elevating everyone involved. People are inspired and motivated, walking away with something they didn’t have walking in. The most effective leaders are catalysts for change. They stretch and challenge both themselves and their teams to accomplish what some think impossible.
So how can you take on more characteristics of transformation leaders? Here are four things you can start doing right now to lift your leadership game to a higher plane.
1. Personalize Your Leadership
Transformational leaders know their team members inside out and see the potential in each one. See yourself as more than a manager: be a mentor to your employees and encourage them to stretch their personal development goals. Allocate projects and tasks based on current skills, but also build in challenges that grow and promote motivation and confidence.
2. Be a Role Model
A transformational leader has the power to inspire. Model the behavior you want to see in others, act with integrity, openness, and honesty. You will inspire respect in your team members and give them daily lessons in how to become great leaders themselves. There are too few faithful role models today. Be one.
As a leader, your people will follow your example. They will live up to your expectations, so make those expectations positive and possible.
3. Inspire Your Team
Your job is to set the vision, the strategy, and the goals for your team. Your team looks to you to be their guide. Be a Sherpa leader. People will follow because you’ve been where they are and can lead them to where you are now.
If you focus on getting the day to day tasks done, you’ll probably get the result you want. But if you practice transformational leadership, communicating positivity and optimism, you can fire up your team to deliver results surpassing project goals.
Transformational leaders continually encourage their team members by keeping the enthusiasm high, checking in on progress, acting collaboratively to find creative solutions, and celebrating successes big and small.
4. Encourage Creativity
Creativity is the hallmark of transformational leadership. Such leaders lift their heads above the day-to-day, constantly attuned to changes in their industry, environment, and team members. They foster innovative approaches and aren’t afraid to risk doing things differently.
Build team unity by challenging crazy creativity. There are no wrong results, fun is key, and the opportunity limitless. Encourage imagination that doesn’t just think outside the box, but reimagines the box itself.
Legacy of Transformational Leaders
Transformational leaders aren’t just active listeners and collaborators. They reward independent thinking and people who challenge the status quo. They offer the gift of greater self-confidence founded on accomplishment, not affirmations.
Leaders who measure their own success by the growth in their people inspire loyalty and often forge life-long bonds. The difference between good leaders and great leaders is how people change during the process.
Transformational leaders intentionally disciple the people around them. They lead by example. teach, and spark creativity by knocking down the walls of self-limitation.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.“—Romans 12:2
The epitome of transformative relationship is becoming a New Creation in Christ. The event that changes the old into the new is the arrival and home-coming of the Holy Spirit within a human.
Jesus was completely human. He lived a human life and died a human death. Yet He was completely divine. He is God. He is Spirit. He lives within every New Creation. Once the Spirit of God moves in, the extent of what is possible in relationship to God expands exponentially.
A man or woman transformed through relationship with Jesus Christ is not less than what he or she was – or the same plus a little – but something different.
Transformational leaders never leave anyone precisely as they were when they met.
No matter how much you like another person, at some point, conflict is likely to happen. While most conflicts are trivial (like trying to decide where to go for lunch), when left untended, any conflict can fester and grow.