Are You a Transformational Leader? 4 Steps to Transformational Leadership

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the strategies to becoming a transformational leader – at work and at home.

First a quick update:

“Scientific & psychological reasons women love bad boys”
I answer your questions about why women love bad boys – the psychological and scientific motivations behind what appears to be irrational, illogical and unhealthy behavior since it almost always results in failure, disappointment, heartache and even worse – abuse. Read here.

Women that cheat with married men are selfish”
CIA Director General David Petraeus resigns after an affair. Will the media & society reward the cheating woman as they often do? Read my comments here.

Now, let’s talk about Transformational Leadership – what it requires to become such a leader and how to be a transformational leader at home and at the office.

“The Pied Piper” fairy tale (adapted from a legend) tells the story of a man with extraordinary powers who comes to the rescue of a town overrun by rats. Using his musical pipe, the colorfully dressed man lures away the rats from the town. When the town fails to keep its promise to pay him “the magnificent reward of one thousand gold Gilders” for his services, the Pied Piper retaliates by using his musical powers to lure away the town’s children into a cave and never to be seen again.

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There are various morals and lessons from this simple fairy tale; one of which is the power of a charismatic leader – one who can influence his team/followers for the better or the worse – one who can lead them to success or to destruction.

The ability of one person to influence a group of followers to such an extent is summed up as “transformational leadership” – transforming the group – be it for good or for bad.

The newest strategies of models of leadership are based on the works and teachings (including 21 books) of the late Bernard M. Bass, Ph.D., a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Management at Binghamton University, NY.

Before explaining how Transformational Leadership applies at home, let me share the 4 components to Transformational Leadership:

1. Idealized Influence (II) – the leader is the ideal role model for followers with high ethical behavior; he/she “walks the talk,” and his/her followers admire, respect, trust him/her and they internalize his/her ideals

2. Inspirational Motivation (IM) – He appeals to, inspires and motivates followers with a clear vision and mission; instills in them passion, meaning, purpose and optimism; gives them a powerful, collective identity

3. Individualized Consideration (IC) – he helps each follower realize his/her full potential; acts as a mentor/coach and challenges them; demonstrates genuine concern for the needs and feelings of followers; offers support, encouragement and empathy and, celebrates the unique contribution of each follower; welcomes individual input

4. Intellectual Stimulation (IS) – the leader encourages creativity, challenges followers to be innovative and creative; challenges assumptions, welcomes independent thought, risk-taking and new ideas; demands high performance

Because leadership has become a much studied area and thus quite academic with various theories, it has also become geared towards the corporate, government and business sectors. Accordingly, few people realize that the same principles can and should be applied at home – the leader (mother, father or both) can also unify and transform the family.

As exemplified by the Pied Piper fairy tale, the most important quality of a parent or transformational leader is the ability to influence the followers. But at all times, the leader and parent are already influencing the followers or family; the question is “How and in what way is he/she influencing them?”

Here is a simple self-analysis:

  • You must become the example and role model; do you do what you ask the others to do?
  • Do you live up to the same standard?
  • Are you ethical, fair and reasonable?
  • Are you consistent?
  • Do you seek to benefit others and avoid harming others?
  • Do you teach and uplift and raise moral values within your home, family or business?
  • Do you balance the concern for productivity with the concern for the individual and the group?
  • Do you set clear goals and objectives – ones that can be measured (at home that also implies clear boundaries and expectations)?
  • Do you encourage creative thought, unique input and new ideas or do you shut people down as dumb or stupid or “that will never work’?
  • Do you make it clear to your group or family that they can achieve much more than they realize?
  • Do you encourage and allow each person to learn, expand and grow by trying new things, and testing their own skills? In other words, do you allow people to swap roles so that each follower or child can grow and challenge themselves?
  • Do you look for opportunities to praise and give positive feedback?
  • Do you celebrate individual and group successes?
  • How do you stir your follower’s positive emotions?
  • Finally, based on the model above, how do you Influence, Motivate, Consider and Stimulate each person and the group as a whole?

For your followers to feel trust, admiration, loyalty and respect for you the leader, you must be willing to see each person, each child as an individual while still holding onto the collective vision and identity. You must be willing to devote the time and effort to mentor, coach and guide each individual (your child or follower); you must be willing to listen, show empathy, support and encourage each person while also instilling optimism and hope – “it can be achieved…things will get better…you will be okay…”

Remember, too, that when you are a great role model, with high ethical behavior, you also influence others around you by developing and building their character. For when a person works under a highly ethical role model, it impacts him to be ethical; and when a person works under a charlatan, that also impacts him – but negatively – eroding his morals.

Think for a moment about all of world’s most famous leaders and the impact that each one had; some changed the world for the better and others changed it for the worse. (Listen to the interview I gave about “Gurus, cults and brainwashing” )

Charisma is the sum of the ability to influence – to stir emotion, instill hope, passion, optimism and purpose and to create a new ideal. And as with the fairy tale of The Pied Piper, beware of whom you follow; who is leading you? Beware also of what kind of leader you are; to become a truly positive transformational leader, you must first transform yourself!

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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