Guest Column

Good leaders transform workplace atmosphere

February 12, 2016
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Transactional leadership is about projects, budgets, production and checking tasks off the list. It is about efficiency and how quickly we can accomplish our tasks.

This approach is often heralded as promoting excellence and ensuring accuracy.

In some capacity, this thought process is true.

The problem with transactional leadership is that it leaves the leader in the middle of everything that needs doing; it creates fires that have to be extinguished, and it does not engage the team with a compelling reason to achieve the established goals.

Transactional leadership encourages us to evaluate what we have accomplished, but tends to keep us focused on the tactical — and often urgent — aspects of what we do.

What if you knew you could engage your team in a high performance, energized environment? An environment where people initiated, where collaboration was a daily activity, and results were driven by inspired discussions based on your mission and purpose?

This is the result of what I call transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership is different because it is founded in the most powerful and impacting aspects of leadership. It infuses meaning into our work and holistically integrates purpose into every aspect and fiber of our efforts.

Transformational leaders continually strengthen the health of their organization by:

  • Breaking down their mission/vision to identify their values and determine whether their current culture is in sync with whom they say they are.
  • Asking how their values/purpose can inform their decision making process.
  • Creating strategies that support their values.
  • Developing trust both internally and externally.
  • Selecting key leaders and team members that support their mission and values.
  • Creating boundaries that support and protect their culture.

A healthy culture engages your team, creates trust and compels a team toward excellence and dynamic collaboration.

The byproduct of a healthy culture is high productivity and profitability. However, the beginning of transformational leadership requires infusing every decision, touch point, relationship, resource allocation and strategy with your purpose and values.

Transformational leadership requires us to create a “lens” that is based on our purpose, vision, mission, and values. This lens determines what we commit to, how we provide our products/services, and how we relate to every stakeholder in our business.

It allows each person in the organization to have the same perspective, the same model for decision making, and the same approach — all without the leader having to tell them what to do.

Transformational leadership actually frees us from needing to micromanage others and allows our teams to excel and have ownership of their work.

By using this lens, transformational leadership guarantees the best results, builds the strongest culture, and quickly establishes trust among your employees and clients.

When you utilize this unique approach to leadership, you will attract the best talent, and your competitors will not come close to outpacing you.

Rhoda Kreuzer, president of Partners In Action Inc., is an executive coach, leadership and HR expert, author, NPR radio show host and active member in community organizations. She can be reached at (616) 457-3453

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