As your career advances, you move along the scale from employee, to supervisor, to manager and finally, to leader. Managers, and some leaders, engage in what is called transactional leadership, the deployment and management of people and resources to get results.
GETTING TO THE TOP OF THE LADDER
However, at the highest end of the leadership scale, we come to what is called "transformational leadership." Transformational leadership is defined as leadership that arouses emotion, that taps into the emotional and spiritual resources of an organization. Transformational leadership empowers people to greatly exceed their previous levels of accomplishment.
THE KEY TO GREAT LEADERSHIP
Empowerment is the key. Transformational leaders are those who can elicit extraordinary performance from ordinary men and women. The superior leader is like a catalyst in a chemical process that causes the other ingredients to work together in a superior fashion.
WORKING WELL WITH GENERATION X
Empowerment as a key function of leadership becomes even more important as the work force becomes dominated by members of the Generation X. These highly individualistic men and women are increasingly seeking higher meaning and purpose in their careers. They are not impressed by authority or hierarchy. If they don't get the satisfaction they are seeking from their work, they will go somewhere else. And the better they are at what they do, the more readily they will leave one job for another.
THE GLUE THAT HOLDS THINGS TOGETHER
Transactional leadership is essential to getting the job done but transformational leadership is what provides the emotional glue that causes organizations and the people in them to excel.
Here are two things you can do immediately to become a transformational leader and empower your people.
First, get excited about your work. The more excited and committed you are to your work, the more excited and committed will be the people around you. The leader always sets the tone for the department or organization.
Second, continually encourage and praise the people who work for you. The better you make people feel about themselves and their work, the more empowered they will feel and the more committed they will be to your company. Brian Tracy
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