How often in your career have you been part of a team that isn’t clear on its vision? How often have you been part of a team that embodied all the strengths needed to be high performing?
In his seminal book, Leadership, published back in 1978, James MacGregor Burns introduced Transformational Leadership; the basic concept in which leaders focus on the beliefs, needs, and values of their followers. For its time, this was breakout thinking.
In essence, Transformational Leadership focuses not on the traditional give and take relationship of leader and follower but shifts to one where the leader:
• Connects the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization;
• Is a role model for followers that inspires them;
• Challenges followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance.
First and foremost a Transformational Leader must have a high level of self-awareness to claim role model status. Inspiring the team is as important as inspiring individual team members. This is done by attending to each member’s needs, acting as a mentor or coach to members and listening to their concerns and needs.
A Transformational Leader gives space for communication, fostering member’s strengths and ideas, and promoting a shared vision.
But in this time of high demands and a rocket-speed pace, how can a leader aspiring to be transformational with their team achieve optimum performance and results?
In my coaching practice, the first step is to help the leader understand the degree to which they are in fact transformational. There are a number of approaches I use. Included in my toolbox is Lumina Leader and 360.
Having the leader complete these tools provides in-depth knowledge and insights into how they perceive their leadership strengths while uncovering blind spots. It is also a temperature check on how their team perceives the leader’s competencies.
The Lumina Leader competencies are hallmarks of a Transformational Leader:
Leading: with Vision; with Drive; to Deliver; and through People.
Within each competency are qualities such as Strategic Thinking, Holds Self and Others Accountable, Inspires and Energizes Others, Coaches and Develops Others.
But it isn’t enough to expect a Transformational Leader to hold full responsibility for the high performance of their team. The second step is for the leader and each member to understand their own strengths and gaps. In this way the leader can cultivate and rely on the specific strengths of team members.
Lumina Spark provides that information. The psychometric assessment of each individual team member reveals strengths they are showing up with in their work as well as underlying or underused strengths that could benefit the team. For example, if most of the team show up as introverted, outcome focused and detail oriented, there will be little energy aimed at abstract, big picture and innovative thinking.
Using Lumina Spark for enhancing the team’s performance reveals the gaps in the team, and where they can pull in member’s underlying strengths or qualities to fill those needs. The process of using Lumina Spark with the team is also a catalyst to gain clarity on both the vision and identity of the team.
For a leader to be authentically transformational, they must:
• challenge assumptions, take risks and solicit team member’s ideas
• articulate a vision that is appealing and inspiring to team members
• be a role model for high ethical behavior, instilling pride while gaining respect and trust.
Transformational Leadership doesn’t just happen. It is cultivated and learned. Coaching and the Lumina Learning tools can take this leadership to the next level. In turn, the level of performance by a team can be greatly enhanced when all members are aware of their vision, identity and their own and each others’ strengths.
Learn more about Lumina Learning here and join me for a complimentary session on how Lumina can benefit you and your team.