The Age of Transformational Leadership: Ways to Trigger Innovation in the Workplace

A few corporates that have thrived under transformational leadership are Wipro, Infosys, Bajaj Finserv, Google, Pepsi, Tata Group, Apple, Tesla Motors, Paytm and more. The leaders of these companies have the power to influence their employees to achieve holistic success.

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Transformational leadership – A leadership strategy at workplace
Image Source: Freepik.

An effective leadership strategy is what brings about organisational success and differentiates the best entrepreneurs in India from the mediocre ones. While there are many leadership styles with their unique set of priorities that can bring situational-based success, transformational leadership is a broader and largely applicable form of leadership.

The great business leaders of India or anywhere in the world establish a common purpose for a group which is defined and outlined through the company’s “vision” and “mission”. These transformational leaders are more inclusive and can bring out the best in their followers.

Qualities of Transformational Leaders

A transformational leader inspires its employees to be future-oriented, focus on the greater good and perform as a unit; keeping a common goal in mind. A successful transformation can commence once these steps have been achieved. All transformational leaders possess common characteristics and traits such as being: 

  • Team-centric
  • Visionaries
  • Inspirational
  • Engaging
  • Collaborative
  • Emotionally Intelligent
  • Inclusive

What differentiates transformational leaders from other leaders is that they place their teams above themselves; they move away from personal gain and focus on the benefit of all. They are ethical and their employees resonate with these values. Their charisma, empathy, and motivation help them understand people, define their goals and bring the team together to lead change. Their articulation is not only direction-based but more inspiration-led. 

Transformational leaders have it in them to bring about a positive work culture by assembling the right people and bringing about a collaborative environment where individuals can express their opinions freely and work together unhinged.

Related: Top 10 Leadership Qualities of Great Leaders You Must Have

Transformational Leaders and their Organisations

Over the years, one has seen many transformational leaders who have sincerely worked towards impacting the world.

 Some of these leaders include: 

  • Anand Mahindra
  • Tim Cook
  • Sanjiv Bajaj
  • Satya Nadella

A few corporates that have thrived under transformational leadership are Wipro, Infosys, Bajaj Finserv, Google, Pepsi, Tata Group, Apple, Tesla Motors, Paytm and more. The leaders of these companies have the power to influence their employees to achieve holistic success. 

Which Organisations Benefit the Most from Transformational Leadership?

Every organisation, regardless of its current success, can benefit when guided by a  transformational leader. Transformation is not just about being able to come out of the dumps, it involves going from good to better and even the best – it is about bringing about a change from the current state of function. Organisations that have a poor culture, where people are not aligned with the vision and don’t buy into it stand to gain the most from a transformational leader.

How to Embrace Transformational Leadership in Your Workplace

The transformational leadership model challenges both these schools of thought– those that believe a leader is born and leadership cannot be taught as well as those who believe that leadership can be learned and honed.

This is because certain core qualities such as empathy and charisma that characterise a transformational leader are those that one is born with or without. On the other hand, qualities such as honesty, dedication, and hard work for organisational improvement can be embraced over time. 

Here are a few ways to trigger innovation via transformational leadership at a workplace:

1. Work on Oneself as a Leader

Before making changes to the team and subsequently the company, one needs to evaluate how they function as a leader. To be a successful transformational leader, you need to be charismatic, empathetic, and inspirational which may require some time to be realised.  

Charisma— To become charismatic, a few tactics can help. These include neutralizing negativity, being omnipresent, dressing to impress, mirroring body language, and so on. 

Empathy–Taking out time and getting to know each individual in your team both professionally and personally. This will help you gauge important things like the reaction to change, how to give feedback, and motivational tactics to adopt. As a leader, one needs to put itself in their teams’ shoes to understand and inspire them.

Inspiration–There are various viable tools and methods to inspire people. These range from actively listening, approaching each situation keeping the greater good of the company in mind, using high-powered talent to motivate, and more. When leaders conquer this skill, they automatically build accountability and trust. 

2. Create a Proper Workplace Culture

The culture of a company determines an employee’s experience and satisfaction at work- an important aspect taken care by the leader. A conducive work environment fosters productivity, enhances motivation and brings down attrition which is why employers put time and energy into making every employee feel appreciated. Apart from making the team feel respected and valued, the environment must be favourable for innovation, collaboration, and communication. 

Innovation—Since the majority of the creative ideas come from employees who know your product or services inside out, a transformational leader will encourage suggestion sharing, an open-door policy to encourage ideas, and incentivise these ideas.

Collaboration—All employees should realise that their daily goals are tied to achieving the greater common goal as this leads to motivation and eventual success.

Communication— Every member needs to realise that what they say will be heard and valued. As a leader, establish an open communication policy with the employees, regardless of the tier or band.

3. Identify and Facilitate Core Values

The first step towards successful transformational leadership is to define and clarify the organisation’s values. This involves identifying and updating the mission and vision of the company and ensuring they differ, seeing what is working and what is not, and taking appropriate steps to make it work. 

4. They are leader builders

Famous financial leaders empower their teams to think and act as business owners with an orderly approach to execution excellence. This empowerment coupled with efficiency and discipline is what helps create more leaders who think like leaders and aim for nothing short of excellence. Such leaders don’t coerce or convince – they are builders and work towards their compelling vision by creating a path for others to move forward towards building something better. 

Leaders who aspire to be transformational leaders need to imbibe this mantra – “transformational leaders don’t wait for change to happen—they create it.”

A transformational leader is one who can address challenges across a broad spectrum of industries such as technology, education, politics, financial and other industries. These leaders do not restrict the impact they are making to their team or the company, they go beyond that to make an impact on any institution they are associated with – the society, the country, and even the entire world. These famous corporate leaders rely on encouragement and motivation to gather creative thoughts, opinions and inculcate a culture of free communication. This inclusive culture is what triggers innovation at the workplace and ends up bringing about success.

Also Read: Sharpening Business Leadership by embracing Management Technology

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