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Transformation redefined: Putting transformational leadership at the heart of business

In a post-pandemic world, the idea of revisiting and building on existing corporate management policies has never sounded more enticing. Inspiring others and being visionaries for change has become the goal of companies and their leaders, intent on looking past actions that did not work and channelling a renewed optimism that after all the upheavals during the pandemic, lessons gleaned can help foster business growth.

That said, more businesses are cultivating a culture that places emphasis on transformational leadership. This is an old concept gaining increased interest today, more than four decades after James MacGregor defined transformational leadership in 1978. He mentioned that the idea of transformation is not just directed towards leaders but to all employees, fresh graduates and new hires included. At the heart of this principle is the realization that as challenges to business arise, corporate management must prepare for them by being more proactive, going beyond old solutions, and introducing new policies that inspire employees to innovate and be more resilient to change.

The benefits of transformational leadership

Transformational leadership, or the ability to engage people to change and improve, covers the ways leaders can assess and satisfy the needs of their team members. Its benefits are many. Think lower turnover costs. Because leaders who employ this type of leadership style have been found to keep their staff inspired, employee turnover rates are reduced. And as staff are more engaged and motivated, their productivity levels increase.

Likewise, results of the McKinsey Global Report also show that when companies take on more transformative policies and actions, they become much more likely to succeed in its corporate goals and agenda. Looking at it in a broad perspective, the benefits of incorporating transformative leadership styles is more boon than bane for business.

Ultimately, there are four factors unique to transformational leadership that businesses can consider implementing in the workplace.

Idealized influence

When leaders become effective role models, their team and staff tend to trust and respect their decisions more easily. This is the core principle behind idealized influence as a factor of transformational leadership. Because they are perceived as exemplary figures of the organization, their staff identifies with them and are able to emulate their actions.

Inspirational motivation

When managers aim to persuade and continuously motivate their teams, they are also able to foster team spirit. Inspirational motivation suggests that when leaders are able to express clear goals and evoke a sense of commitment and positive, collective action among their peers, they contribute to overall work productivity and growth of their company.

Intellectual stimulation

When the pandemic hit, new ways of work had to be implemented. This scenario did more than just keep leaders on their toes; it allowed them to tap their inner resilience and think of innovative ways to keep business going. Intellectual stimulation suggests that leaders must go beyond challenging the norms and go out of their way to foster an innovative, creative mindset among their colleagues.

Individualized consideration

Aside from training, coaching and mentoring contribute a whole lot in making assessments and keeping communication open between staff and leaders. When these initiatives are rigorously maintained, management is able to encourage employees to reach not just their individual goals in the company but also help them advance their careers.

When these factors are met, corporate management will be able to help employees grow and transform their individual actions into more meaningful business efforts. Aside from following these steps, leaders, will also be able to benefit from engaging in various executive learning and training programs, where they will be able to learn more about transformative leadership through formal, leadership-led discussions.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to hasten and improve the transformation leadership process, businesses can create their own policies which take into account ways that can further inspire and motivate all employees. This, along with business resiliency efforts, can pave the way for companies to get sturdier footing amidst a volatile business environment.

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