I have to admit it, I’m in love. I’m in love with leaders who have the capacity to share their visions and engage others in positive change. These kind of leaders can be called transformational leaders. It is leaders who are energetic, positive and enthusiastic; leaders that are passionate; leaders that have clear vision and goals for the positive change they want to create; they see and acknowledge people and inspire them to pursue change.
Transformational leadership is defined as the impact it has on others. Leadership and Performance states that leaders have the following characteristics:*
- Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.
- Individualized Consideration – Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each followers unique contributions.
- Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfill these goals.
- Idealized Influence – The transformational leaders serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate the leader and internalize his or her ideals.
Many of our organisations lack this kind of leadership. But we are heading towards a new paradigm that will demand new leadership styles. Leaders that can be with the flow instead of control, leaders that can trust their intuition and act from the energy of what needs to happen instead trying to control what is going to happen. This will demand a huge shift in our consciousness and speaks something about our capacity to handle external as well as internal circumstances of change. My strong belief is that all change needs to come from within and when leaders are ready to explore the internal landscape, even the subconscious shadows within, then we have leaders with a great capacity beyond the extra ordinary.
* Source: http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/transformational.htm [March 12, 2012]
Bass,B. M,(1985). Leadership and Performance. N. Y,: Free Press.
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