8 Must-Have Transformational Leadership Qualities by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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You might think you know what a “transformational leader” is. But it’s entirely possible you’ve never even met one. Below are eight of the most essential qualities of this type of leader, to help you determine how to apply the concept to your own life and leadership experience.

1. An Understanding of What Needs to Change

A transformational leader is somebody who can take an audience, often irrespective of that audience’s background, and bring about a significant change in their opinions of a particular topic. This gift is rare, but you can teach yourself how if you enter into each exchange with clearly defined goals in mind. Whom are you speaking to? What’s the goal, conflict or impasse, and what’s your “thesis” on addressing it? Whose minds need changing here — and could it be yours?

2. The Ability to Stimulate the Intellect

Have you ever walked out of a meeting or public address feeling like you’ve retained nothing from the speaker’s presentation? In a world where every leader endeavored to be more transformational, this wouldn’t happen as much. A struggle to remember information more than likely indicates a lack of intellectual stimulation.

Among other talents, the world’s best leaders — in any context — excel in challenging people’s preconceived notions. They don’t need the world’s most robust vocabulary, but they do need the oratory skills to help people ask old questions in new ways, or ask entirely new kinds of questions about the work they do and the world in which they do it.

3. A Knack for Encouraging Participation

We’ve all attended classes or lectures where the audience enthusiasm is so low, we can almost hear the crickets. To be sure, presenting materials of any kind and sparking meaningful conversation along the way is a challenge sometimes — in the workplace as much as anyplace else.

An excellent piece of advice from the academic community is to solicit ideas from your team beforehand. You can name the theme or general objective of the next meeting or get-together, and encourage team members to draw up some thoughts on the subject. They could even submit anonymously using an online form. Then, come meeting time, you won’t be broaching a brand-new topic, and your colleagues will already have spent some time ruminating on it. The conversation — and the valuable ideas — should come much more easily.

4. A Talent for Genuine Communication

When people communicate clearly, honestly and compassionately with one another, they can accomplish almost anything. Transformational leaders know absorbing ideas from everywhere, with neither judgment nor knee-jerk reaction, is the key to building anything lasting. Moreover, they’ve achieved mindfulness about whether, and how often, they make their colleagues feel genuinely listened to.

5. Loyalty — Within Reason

If you want to inspire the people beneath you to stand with you and the organization you represent, you need to exude loyalty and a commitment to the long-term vision you’re working toward. More than anything, you’re cultivating buy-in. But buy-in doesn’t happen if you don’t seem genuinely committed to or enthusiastic about what you’re doing. The organization’s mission must match yours, and you must be able to sell it, convincingly, to the people you rely on. This concept is not the same as blind loyalty — loyalty to an organization also means a willingness to call out its flaws honestly.

6. A Sense of the Bigger Picture

Loyalty to a company’s vision is step one. Commitment to an overriding ethos is step two. Then, you need to figure out how to talk about that ethos in a way that inspires others to change their thinking and behavior to generate better results. But who benefits from these results? Where’s the bigger picture and what’s the worldview you serve?

Leadership at Apple inspires its followers not just by introducing new products, but also by touting the opportunities technology unlocks in the creative, educational and medical communities. The public sector, too, needs leaders who can generate real enthusiasm: not more reactionary politicking, but instead a cohesive vision for a more inclusive social fabric. Leaders need to tell “big stories” — no matter who they are.

7. Personal Integrity

It’s not necessarily true that all people in the world operate under the same definition of personal integrity. But the last few hundred years of human development have gotten many of us pointed, at least, in a roughly similar direction.

Even if not everybody pictures a “great leader” precisely the same way everybody else does, we all have a similar idea of what integrity looks like. If transformational leaders are in the business of changing minds, there’s a slim chance they’re going to succeed if they don’t represent somebody worth emulating.

8. An Inspiring Bearing

There’s a difference between having an inspiring, confident presence and having an overbearing one. There are two ways to go about changing somebody’s mind: You can become so threatening in manner or appearance that people trip over themselves agreeing with you, or you can project an air of collected and calm reasonableness. You won’t be surprised by which one works better.

What does a transformational leader look like? They effortlessly have good posture. They speak in a measured way, yet know when and how to project their voice. People in the back don’t have to ask them to “please speak up.” When their body language calls attention to itself, it’s merely because it tells the listener to be at ease, that it’s OK to ask questions and that they will answer mutual respect in kind.

In word, deed and appearance, transformational leaders must exude confidence, kindness, openness and rationality in equal measure. Think you’re up to the challenge?

January 31, 2019 at 09:09AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamcraig/2019/01/31/8-must-have-transformational-leadership-qualities/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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