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By: Nancy Garberson, CEO, Marketing & Communication Strategies, Inc.
– It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, an entrepreneur, or someone who feels you have no power at all within an organization …. leadership can come from anywhere. You don’t have to be the person proclaimed to be in-charge to raise the bar, in fact, sometimes you can do more from below than you can from the top. One person can make a difference.
Most business writing focuses on the managerial side of leadership, their personality traits and their behavior. However, transformational leadership can start in the mailroom. Most theories in leadership development stress how to be effective from day to day, with your co-workers, with your customers and within your decision-making — transactional leadership, where you give something to get something. But a leader using a transformational style of leadership can be very influential.
Have you ever been in a group situation where someone took control of the circumstances by conveying a clear vision of the goals? The passion is completely contagious! It is the ability to make co-workers feel recharged and energized. This person just might be called a transformational leader and you can find them everywhere: On the soccer field, in the classroom, and in your department.
Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style that leads to positive changes of those who follow. These leaders are usually dynamic, enthusiastic and passionate. They like hearing all the details, like helping others achieve goals, and are willing to teach others for the good of all, focused on helping every member of the group succeed. You know them; almost every good department has at least one and if they are lucky, may have more. When transformational leaders see a problem, they fix it, sometimes by implementing new ideas, sometimes by rallying a group for the cause, and sometimes by speaking up when others won’t. These people continually change themselves; they stay flexible and adaptable; and continually help improve those around them.
These are the people who have charisma, which is difficult to define, but you know it when you experience it. This is one of those people you would follow his or her instincts no matter what. They seem to have the vision that creates a gripping picture of the future that people identify with and understand. The vision the leader provides is a means for people to develop commitment, a common goal to rally around, and a way for people to feel successful.
Transformational leaders show new ways of looking at problems, they challenge the existing boundaries and believe, wholeheartedly, there is always a good solution to any problem. They inspire others to act by providing a knowledge-base and encouragement. Sometimes all it takes is to help people face the biggest barrier, one’s self.
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