8 Dos & Don’ts of Transformational Leadership
What is transformational leadership? I’m not certain, but it sure sounded better than regular leadership! In my experience, transformational leadership leaves a mark on society. It changes generations in a person’s family. It can alter the course of an individual or an organization’s life. Transformational leadership requires intentionality and sacrifice, but the payoff can be huge! Here are 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Tranformational Leadership:
1. Don’t just give information. Do cast vision every time you speak. Why are you doing what you are doing? How does their piece impact the bigger picture? How can you cast vision instead of dumping info? It’s all about vision!
2. Don’t be passive. Do be bold. If you find yourself saying things like, “Well, it would be nice if you would kindly consider thinking about the thought of maybe considering how you could possibly help me somehow in your spare time think about trying to…..” You get the idea! Be confident! Show this confidence in the way you communicate. “Here is where we are going, can I count on you?” Be bold!
3. Don’t just tell the vision. Do inspire a shared vision. Cast vision in such a way that others can call it their own. How can the passions, talents and dreams of those in your influence or organization contribute to a shared vision? Can others call the vision their own or is it just a statement posted on the wall? Use language like we and you. Ask individuals about their dreams, desires, goals in life. Find ways to make the vision a collective or shared vision, not just your own.
4. Don’t be confusing. Do give clarity. Is everyone on your team or in your organization crystal clear about where things are headed? Like an illustrative painting, have you painted a picture with brilliant colors, large brush strokes and compelling passion? Or is everything gray? Think about it. People need to see it in colorful detail, don’t just assume they can. This is your job! Be clear with the vision you are laying out.
5. Don’t give all the answers. Do ask the right questions. Recently, I heard a leader say something like, “You need to say this, this and this, and do it exactly like this.” How much more impacting could the situation have been if that leader would have said, “What do you think we should do?” How much trust and confidence would that have instilled in that person compared to giving them all the answers? Good questions will get you a lot further than giving all the answers!
6. Don’t skip the relationship. Do invest in the person. Do you care more about the person you are leading than what you can get out of them? Does this show through the way you relationally invest and connect with them? This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends. It does mean that you need to go the extra mile to show that person you are on their side. You exist to help empower them. Empowerment begins with relationship. Invest!
7. Don’t be a closed book. Do be transparent. People need to see that you’ve blown it, yet have overcome your mistakes. They need to see that you know how to learn when things don’t go the way you planned. This gives them permission to push their own limits and be bold. If they don’t have this permission, they will coast, coast, coast! Why would they push it if there is no room for mistakes? Lead the way and be transparent. They will follow suit.
8. Don’t just say it. Do live it. Are you willing to go personally where you are asking others to go? Others will only go where a leader has been personally. Are you truly living it or are you just lip service? Authenticity is pretty easy to sniff out. The unauthentic quickly sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, “Wahh. Wa. Wahh. Wa. Blah. Blah.” Live it! Your time on this earth is short. Get to it and smoke what you’re selling!
Have you seen any of these eight Dos & Don’ts play themselves out in your life? What are other Dos and Dont’s of leadership? Please share.
If you dig this post, you may also dig: Why Leadership Ain’t Always Sexy, Leadership Ain’t a Title: How to Gain Influence Where You Are Now, 10 Essentials of Online Leadership & a recent guest post at BigIsTheNewSmall.com entitled: Want to Lead? Prove It!
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