Transformational Leaders: What Can They Do For Your Organization?
Posted on June 14, 2012 by Gail Danneman
We all know how important leaders are for the success of an organization. How would you define the characteristics that a great leader possesses? It can be difficult to put into words what makes a great leader. Some would answer, “They are just a born leader.” How can we define transformational leaders and use their skills to make the best organization?
We have all come across a transformational leader in our lives. They may not have been in the workplace, but other avenues of our lives such as athletics, church leaders, or friends/family. While in college, I worked at my college bookstore and was able to experience a true transformational leader. My manager inspired the employees to want to be better at our jobs. She did so by pushing us to be our best and encouraging us along the way.
True transformational leaders can improve organizational components such as motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity. It is hard to be motivated on the job when the leader of the organization does not care about the success of employees and the organization. However, when a leader communicates a clear mission and nurtures the mission, great things can happen.
In a panel study conducted by TNS Employee Insights in 2011, when asked if they trusted executive leaders of their organization, 52% of employees reported that they trusted the leaders in their organizations. Trust is a major component of what makes a leader great. Many of us have experienced a leader telling us one thing and then not holding up to their promise. As a subordinate, this can be extremely frustrating. Just like a friend, how can we trust someone who doesn’t keep his or her word or doesn’t have our best interest in mind?
Transformational leaders can be a positive impact on whether or not employees stay or leave. Why is this important? Turnover costs are very high; the hiring and training process for a new employee can quickly add up. In addition, top talent may look elsewhere if they do not feel they are reaching their potential at an organization or feel the leader does not have a sense of direction. A transformational leader who works to make employees feel important and part of a larger purpose will positively impact how employees feel committed to the organization.
Think of a leader you have had in your life. What was it about them that made them a great leader?