One of the most important characteristics of leadership is power. The other one is influence. John Maxwell says that most of the time, influence is more important than formal power or authority.
I totally agree with him. Influence is very important in organizational and corporate settings. A person who wields influence can easily turn the organization around even without formal authority in the board or in the management team.
Careful wielding of influence, however, requires skill and care. If done well, it can very well lead to transformation and change in the organization. Here are the characteristics of transformational leadership as it relates to how influence is wielded.
1. Transformational leadership requires motivation and emotional connection. A leader should develop friendship and individual care for the people within the organization. This way, the people would feel that the organization and the leader cares for them and this will in turn lead to better performance.
2. Transformational leadership requires thinking outside the box. While leaders often revert to tradition and the organizational culture, the leader should think of innovative ways to do the usual business of the organization. If the leader can do this and he enjoys widespread support in the organization, he can chart a new course and he will be able to turn the organization around.
3. Transformational leadership enlists the support of key leaders and followers in the organization. There is no such thing as a solo leader. John Maxwell said that a leader with no followers is like an individual taking a walk in the park! Nobody is actually following him!
4. Transformational leadership can help an organization change for the better. It can change, not only the leader, not only the followers, but the organization as a whole. This takes time and investment, however. If, as an organization, you are afraid to make changes, then perhaps this kind of leadership is not for you.
Transformational leadership is more than just a fad. It is an important leadership trend, which if harnessed can lead to a better and more effective organization. Oftentimes, however, leaders tend to stick to only one kind of leadership style-the one that they are most comfortable with. In order to make the most out of the people in your organization, you have to look at different styles and how they can be applicable in your organization. Be sensitive to the needs of your people and to the performance requirements of your organization. This might just change things.
By Logan Barnes