Transformative Leadership Paradigm

Vemedo J Kezo
Asst. Professor, Department Of Education St. Joseph’s College Jakhama  

Introduction: There are many who want to lead by virtue of boosting their positional image but there are few who are actually leading and transforming the arena in which they lead and navigate the group into a new horizon. It is this type of leadership that is the ‘inthing’ of today’s world which is governed by the corporate culture and ethos. This article therefore, tries to highlight some of the key elements in transformative leadership that influences the mass not from the external principles alone but from the intrinsic factors that propel people to give their best in shaping the mission and thereby bringing the productive change that is envisaged by the group collectively. Following can be some of the qualities that can set a new paradigm for creative and transformative leadership.  

Value People: A sensible leader will always avoid using people for his or her personal glory but will value especially when they need him or her. This implies that any corporate success is not attributed to his leadership alone but through the collective effort of the team mates who in way contributed for the achievement of the success. Valuing also implies having a sense of gratitude towards the members of the team and complimenting for their contribution.  

Building Community: A true leader is always building a community of different capacities. Therefore, it is very important for a leader to nurture relationship in building the community in achieving certain ideals and values of life. Ideals and values are eternal and they mark the spiritual and the ethical dimension of humankind.  

Displaying Authenticity: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity” retorts, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Authenticity or integrity is the hallmark quality of a leader which invariably emits inspiration for the people to follow the ideals and values which the group is trying to propagate. Deed always precedes words in terms of displaying transparency and genuineness.  

Developing People: What makes some of the political leaders to be long standing leaders? It is the quality of building and developing people that retains them to be on their throne. Precisely because of this the opposition party could not get a chance to negate him or her. When leaders develop people, the people in turn will make sure that he or she continues to lead them.  

Sharing Leadership: Leading a group is not always an individual affair but a collective effort in sharing responsibility and power as well. When the top leader gets all the decision power and delegates only the follow up work, not joy will come from within in getting one’s best for the endeavour. So also success should be shared among the subordinates and not only sharing the responsibilities in executing the task of the group. When the leader gets all the credits of the success and reserves the failures for the subordinates, no positive change can take place in such kind of atmosphere. Sharing of leadership entails, sharing of success and executive roles in a defined jobs.  

Exhibit Courage, Humility and Empathy: Humility they say is the queen of all virtues. A leader who wants to influence the group in a positive manner needs to show diligence and courage in a critical situation. Not running away from the reality or delegating the critical situation to the subordinates to handle but facing the situation realistically and responding with prudence and wisdom.  

Own Your Mistake: Everyone wants to justify and cover up his or her won mistake but only few have to the courage and humility to own up their own mistake. A true leader should have this virtue of acknowledging his or her mistake and thereby winning the confidence and goodwill of his team instead of justifying it.  

Organising Things According To Prioritises: There are myriad of tasks to be performed and completed however, not every task require immediate the attention. Therefore, a sensible leader should organise things according to the priorities of the organisation.  

Understand Before Being Understood: Understanding the subordinates and the people whom a leader is working with is vital in creating a positive influence among the people. This is important in initiating a change and building a network among the people for a positive change.  

Listen To The Criticism: There is always message in criticism, your friends may not criticize you and avoid speaking truth to you, but your enemies, will speak truth about you in criticism. There is a message in criticism. Therefore, a leader must read between the lines of criticism and if need be change the strategy of leading the people after careful observation and contemplation through the feedback given by the people.  

Avoid Unproductive Conflict: In any human relation conflict is inevitable but this should be resolved and streamlined for the good of the organisation and group. A productive conflict entails leading a group or organisation to higher plane amidst a conflicting opinion arising from different angles. However, unproductive conflict can greatly damage the leadership arena when the conflict is centred on the ego of the persons. You have to explain your anger rather than express your anger to your subordinates or group. When ego is hurt, you must explain it rather than defend it. Defending the ego can add fuel to the fire of conflict.  

Lead with Vision and Mission: A leader must pick up vision and mission of group and instil among the people or group that can act a guiding force in leading the people. Having a sense of mission is very important for a leader to lead at transformational level. It is important to set goals and develop life plans for the group. This will act as a propelling force in leading the group and a leader’s job is to coordinate and motivate the group for the same.

Know Yourself: Self awareness is the key to order one’s life. The power of the within emerges from the depth of one’s awareness of one’s being. To quote Chris Lowney, ‘leaders thrive by understanding who they are and what they value, by becoming aware of unhealthy blind spots or weaknesses that can derail them, and by cultivating the habit of continuously self-reflection and learning’. This is Socratic wisdom know thyself before knowing other things. Life’s solution lies within and not without. If we want positive change, then it must first come from within and this is the paradigm on which a true leadership stands. Everyone wants others to change but very few want to change.  

Be Sensitive To Your Root: Being sensitive to our roots is important in understanding our subordinates. Leaders must remember their employers’ name as people, not just workers. Knowing their family and their root from where they come is vital in building bonding among the people.  

It is not the group that bring change but it is an individual that initiates change in society. Therefore, leaders can set a paradigm in bringing a transformative change in society, as history bears ample of examples for such kind of people.