To foster an environment within your organization in which leader succeeds leader in a repeating cycle, there must be a leadership plan in place. This sort of cycle relates to that of any highly organized succession plan, as government officials or monarchy appointments. There has to be a constant attempt by current leaders to find and cultivate the future leaders.
Traits of a leader can be found in many people, but ensuring that they have the right qualities to continue the cycle of transformational leadership is key and can be difficult to pinpoint. Even the best communicator can only do so much if he or she doesn’t have an eye for building up those underneath him or her. As we move forward with this concept in this post, keep in mind that we are identifying traits of transformational leaders, the ones who are not only able to lead flawlessly, but also build up those around them to eventually do the same.
What are the inherent qualities of a transformational leader?
- Able to recognize and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and others around them
- Encourages innovation, creative thinking, and out-of-the-box ideas; in other words, they aren’t afraid to take risks or try new things because they know the outcome can often outweigh the risk
- Serves as a model and inspiration to others for their diligence to the organization and role they hold
- Promotes and practices open communication
- Recognize and broadcasts the success and achievements of those around them
To develop future leaders, existing leaders must:
- Devote time to the mission
- Be consistent
- Recognize and award accomplishments
- Provide a sense of security
- Launch an internal support system
Often argued as the most important priority of transformational leadership is to notice the gaps in the leadership pipeline and to find the right candidates to fill them. To do so, it’s important to ask yourself these questions to find out what your approach will consist of.
- In what areas is leadership lacking? What areas could use stronger leadership?
- Are there any employees already in these areas who would make willing and able leaders?
- If hiring needs to be done, what are the characteristics and attitude needed by the new employees?
Building a transformational leadership cycle is a great way to ensure long-lasting success of your organization and to encourage the retention and vitality of your employees. Focus on encouragement and proactivity to build a successful leadership pipeline, and find the leaders who will help the others around them to thrive.
Sources: “Developing the Leaders Around You” by John C. Maxwell.