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Now, back to Transformative Leadership.
If you want to be a Transformative Leader, the first paradigm shift is to understand The Secret Formula™, levels 1-3. For individuals who are interested, levels 1-2 are discussed in free webinars available to those who sign-up for our newsletter. Levels 1-3 are applied in our coaching and consulting offers so that we can contextualize the paradigm. However, here I want to state the major concept of level 3.
“You must have a focused cause.”
Most traditional leadership focuses on the 10 steps to take, improving your professional image, and motivational speeches. Transformative Leadership is far more advanced yet relatively simple. However, if the simple foundation is not laid, everything else is often a waste of time and money.
What is a Focused Cause?
Think about those individuals and teams who are willing to sacrifice their lives for a greater good, a religious belief, or a common cause. What do they have in common? They are personally sold out for the belief system, the cause, or the perceived greater good of society. They are willing to put in long hours, do dangerous work, and often get less income but their belief in their cause gives them personal value, esteem, and satisfaction in life. They make a difference in the world.
Here are some examples. Note that many are contrary beliefs yet those in each category will often spend amazing amounts of personal time, energy, and money to promote their cause.
- Capitalism – Socialism – Communism
- Evangelical Christianity – Traditional Christian Groups – Islam – Hindus…
- Pro Abortion / Pro Life – Pro Gay / Pro Traditional Values – Pro Environment / Pro Non-infringement on Human Progress
- Pro Providing Protection to Others (Police, Fire, Military…)
- One World Government…National Pride…State Pride…Local Pride
- Arts…Parks…Helping the Poor…
- Rights for drugs, immigration, unions, equality…
You may agree or disagree with any of these causes, yet how far are some members willing to go to promote their particular cause?
Most of these people have jobs and other personal interests yet are sold out to their particular cause. Some members even go to extremes.
So, what is your focused Leadership Cause that others can follow?
If all you think is:
- Giving them a pay check
- Getting a tactical job done
- Watching the clock
- Telling them what to do with specific objectives
- Keeping them happy and putting up with their demands
Then, you are not a Transformative Leader. You are a manager.
A Transformative Leader defines their business as a cause for others to join or choose to go elsewhere. They talk about it constantly. They reward those willing to follow. They solicit input and help as long as it is aligned with the Cause. They attract self-motivated people.
The key question is, “What is the Cause that your business or organization can focus on that builds up the business and helps it to compete, innovate, and grow?
Even if you are simply the supervisor in a department, what is the focus and Cause that others can buy into and commit their lives to?
It starts with you, as the supervisor, manager, executive, or CEO deciding if you are really motivated on a passion, belief, vision, and cause or if you are just going through the motions to punch the clock. Before you can transform others, you need to be transformed yourself, know your personal beliefs, and define the Cause that drives you…and is in alignment with Company Success.
So, what is the Cause, Passion, and Vision of your Company?
Can you write it down in 5-10 words? Do you have a company or departmental slogan that defines your Cause? Do your people understand the Cause and how they can fit into it?
A manager simply watches over and guides people to do a tactical set of jobs while a Transformative Leader models, teaches, guides, and gives a vision and Cause for everyone to follow.
Before we discuss other leadership paradigms, teaming, and employee motivation, the primary paradigm shift for a Transformative Leader is, “What is your focused Leadership Cause that others want to follow?”
We have all read leadership articles about:
- Ten Secrets to Leadership Success
- 5 Steps to Transformative Leadership
- 101 Ways to Lead…
I am sure many of those articles are very helpful. However, we believe that all leadership begins with deciding what kind of leader you want to be. In other words, how do you define Leadership Success? Each of those articles may be of more or less value depending upon how you define leadership.
To keep it simple, we see three principle types of leaders. Now you may disagree with our definitions but please humor us. Perhaps there are thousands of varieties but we only want to define three styles and then focus in future blogs on one of the three.
The first type is the Rigid Leader (my way or the highway, high stress, high demand. only one way considered (his). The only right response is strict obedience. Is there a place for such leadership? How about life and death situations such as on the battlefield, in an operating room, or while mountain climbing? As long as the leadership produces the right results, such leadership is usually tolerated and often imitated. However, we suggest that it is not optimal for most non-life threatening situations. It can also be personally painful to follow a rigid leader.
The second type is the Political Leader (manipulates, fabricates, has many masks, blames others, takes credit belonging to others, and avoids personal responsibility or accountability). This type is rampant in most organizations. The best way to survive such as leader is by imitating them and giving them political cover and support. A Politician’s personal success focus drives toward inward company focus. We have all worked in such environments. Company profits and competitiveness are not the primary focus. Those who are results oriented, rather than relationship oriented, are often bypassed for promotions and sometimes becomes the scapegoat used to deflect from the political leader being held accountable. If senior management is political, such leadership is often rewarded. We suggest that it is not optimal for maximum company success potential, but if you are “one of them”, you may not care as long as you are being taken care of by your political alliances.
The third type is what we call the Transformative Leader (wants to enable everyone to maximize their potential, focuses outside the company to create competitive leadership, and wants to align everyone’s strengths to match the company’s vision of success). This profile is looking for best practices and new innovation while wanting to be responsible and accountable for their own actions. Other profile names may include the Servant Leader, the Model Leader, the Pay-It-Forward Leader, or the Coherent Leader.
The reality is that any large company usually has a mixture of all three types of leaders. Leadership advice is usually different depending on the leadership profile and their personal values. While it is obvious to see how these types conflict and compete internally, we believe the key to success is to:
- Find the company whose primary leadership culture matches your own.
- Learn how to deal with each leadership style to make the best of what you find.
- Learn which sets of leadership advice match the style that maximizes your future success.
We believe the leadership style that leads to maximum organizational transformation, company competitiveness, and the greatest teaming alignment is what we will call the Transformative Leader. Future blogs will give advice on how to transform a company under a transformative leader while recognizing that most companies will have the complexities of multiple leadership types and cultures. Therefore, the transformative leader’s success must include applying their style while developing a gradual change mindset and encouraging other leaders to join them on a journey that ultimately rewards everyone. Even if the transformative leader is the new CEO, transforming an established company is not for the faint hearted but may be the right thing to do – if the board is standing aligned behind him or her.
For start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, high change, and high growth environments, applying Transformative Leadership principles is usually the key to higher returns for investors. However, even in an organization with a mixed leadership environment, the transformative leader can apply transformative leadership principles within her own organization while needing to deal with other leaders according to their styles.
Next time we will discuss “What is the Primary Paradigm Shift for Transformative Leadership Success?”
With all the college courses, books, seminars, blogs, articles, and speeches on Leadership, “How successful are today’s Leaders?”
According to the Gabriel Institute:
- 60% of Company Failures are due to People Problems. My observation is that 100% of companies have had or currently have people problems. Is that a leadership issue?
- Actively Engaged Employees Make Up Less Than 1/3 of the Workforce. Does that mean two thirds of the workforce are not following the leader and are not helping the company compete? Is that a leadership issue?
My personal rule of thumb is that typically, less than 20% of employees are doing 80% of the work. You might recognize this as the Pareto Principle.
What would happen if leaders learned how to actively engage two thirds of their employees rather than only one third? Or if 40% of their employees were working hard versus 20% or less?
That still leaves a lot of people who are not contributing…and what is worse is that idle hands can create a lot of problems.
The result is often internal turf wars, silos, politics, and internal bleeding that sucks up money, resources, and energy that you need to compete in the marketplace…especially in today’s global environment. What if leaders could reduce internal conflict and redirect those resources to their company’s mission?
Even if leaders have employees wanting to work, if their employee’s personal motivations, passions, drive, energy is not aligned with the company, how much potential is being lost?
In my opinion, all of these issues are Leadership issues.
That is why we created Human Investment Leadership™. It is a new way to help solve these issues. In other words, Human Investment Leadership™ can help companies decrease failures and increase their competitive edge.
How? By focusing on three major gaps in organizations.
Stay tuned! We will be discussing how leaders can address fundamental root causes that, if implemented, could dramatically increase how many employees will be willing to follow their leadership.
We have talked about behavioral profiles and roles. Understanding and implementing these principles alone can dramatically improve your competitive edge. If you are the leader, it is a lot easier to lead individuals and teams who want to follow rather than stray cats or those requiring constant attention.
Another secret to leadership and performance is that everyone needs to feel respected for their contribution as part of the team.
It is easy to show respect for superiors, the top sales person, the financial genius, or assumed stars. However, just as with sports teams, the stars never achieve the most by themselves. It takes a team where every member of that team is appreciated and respected for the role they play and for the value they bring.
The challenge is that every behavioral role wants to be respected in different ways.
Let me put it this way: When I was creating a global team, I assumed that treating everyone the same way that I wanted to be treated was fair and the most effective leadership style. After all, I led by example and I treated others by how I wanted to be treated by my superiors. I WAS WRONG.
Now I understand that each of the ten behavioral roles want to be treated / respected differently. Now I understand those on my team, my peers, and superiors who I was not connecting with and assumed they were the problem. Well, in some cases, they were the problem but, in other cases, I confess that I might have been the problem. Through ignorance, not intent, I treated everyone the same. How fair was that! But in reality, not everyone wants to be respected in the same way.
Now, I am learning how to appreciate and show appreciation in ways that fit how others want to be appreciated. At least now I am no longer ignorant but I am still in the process of applying what I learned..
As a leader trying to motivate your team, would it be important to understand how they want to be motivated – or do you think that one style fits all?
As a follower trying to please your leader, would it be important to understand how they want to be respected – or do you think that one way fits all?
As a job seeker interviewing decision makers, trusted advisors, influencers, peers, subordinates, and gate-keepers, would it be helpful to understand their potential roles and how to show them respect?
The good news is that now there is a way of learning and applying these principles. They are fundamental to leadership and career success.
If you want to know more, contact me at Jim@JobDoctorsIntl.com
As part of my blog community, I am offering you two free opportunities to start off the New Year. I personally guarantee they will be worth reviewing. They will also explain what I am up to in 2013!
1. Invitation to Event: Revolutionizing Your Company’s Competitive Edge™ – Introducing Human Investment Leadership™
A No Charge One Hour Webinar. Live on 2/12/13. Then recorded for later availability.
Human Investment Leadership™ is the New Model for Increasing Productivity, Innovation, and Your Competitive Edge by Closing the Gap Between Your Business Vision and the People Supporting You.
Company Teams Aligned with Leadership Direction and Empowered by Motivated Employees is the Key to Being Better Than Your Competition.
2. Invitation to Newsletter: Revolutionizing Your Personal Competitive Edge™ – Introducing Personal Investment Leadership™
A No Charge Bi-Weekly Newsletter that includes articles, guest articles, recorded and live webinars, and announces future events.
Personal Investment Leadership™ is the New Model to Increasing Your Personal Marketability for Promotions and Jobs versus Your Competition. Includes: The Secret Formula™, Jobpreneurship™, Understanding Political Landmines, and much more.
If you are interested in either of the above invitations, just Click Here.
The link will give you the information and sign-up access to the webinar and the newsletter sign-up. The newsletter is on the upper right of the webpage.
If you prefer to simply sign-up for the webinar, just Go Here.
If you have any questions, please let me know. My email address is: Jim@JobDoctorsIntl.com.
Have a Prosperous 2013!