To answer the question, the term “transform” has to be clear. Transform means to fundamentally move the organization to an entirely different state than the organization is in currently. It involves a dramatic alteration from the organization’s current culture.
The culture of an organization is the responsibility of the leader and his/her behavior drives the culture. Because of this, transformation requires the leader to embrace transformation personally. Often transformation of the leader is required before the organization can transform. If the leader isn’t willing or able to model the behaviors of the desired culture, transformation won’t occur. An organization may have incremental change, but an alteration of the cultural state of an organization requires the leader to own the new cultural transformation and model consistently through the transformation to ensure the culture shifts.
A transformational leader must be equipped with a set of characteristics and skills to be effective and transformational leadership is not for the faint of heart. The characteristics and skills required include the following:
- Courage to live and lead through ambiguity
- Charisma to enliven others to follow
- Compassion for those under his/her authority
- Capability to grasp and face external changes that necessitate transformation
- Creativity to develop and articulate a strong and compelling vision
- Aptitude to get others motivated to embrace the new vision
- Desire to model the new, desired cultural behaviors consistently and aptly
- Tenacity to prevail under scrutiny and adversity
- Persistence to focus until the transformation is complete
There are many different leadership styles and each leader embraces new things in different ways. Some leaders welcome new ways of shaping the organization and some leaders just plain and simply feel most comfortable in status quo or with a more subtle approach to attempt to move the businesses forward.
To be fair, transformation is risky because it is all about achieving a vision that is dramatically different from the present and the absolute assuredness of a favorable outcome is often unknown. The fear of failure can interfere with the desire to transform. The leader can often and sometimes unintentionally ignore the external signs that could help drive transformation until it is too late.
Every leader is not equipped to transform their organization. This is either because he/she does not have the above listed characteristics or skills or he/she does not have the incentive to embrace transformation.
For a leader who desires to move his or her organization forward dramatically and has transformational capability, he/she can be equipped to transform the organization.
Do you aspire to be a transformational leader? What would it take to incentivize you to dare and inspire your employees to join you to transform your organization? Take the risk to transform your organization and join your team in enjoying the benefits of achieving your exciting vision.