Transformational leadership requires disrupting the status quo or business as usual. During Insigniam’s 10th Annual Executive Summit in June 2017, five business leaders shared their experiences and insights on being this kind of leader and the value that they provide to their customers, colleagues, and enterprises.

Why is this kind of leader so important?

Predictably, change is going to continue and at ever faster rates of speed. This dynamic shows up in new products and services, technology, organizational design, communications, etc. We need leaders who can not only see the direction and where the future is going but also appreciate the challenge to humans, both individually and as organizations, to transition from the way it is and has been to something different. These leaders have to give up what has made them and their enterprises successful. When an organization does not have this leadership, it may go out of business. Think of Kodak and Blockbuster.

What makes these leaders different?

One aspect that is different from these leaders is the habits that they have developed. During that same Summit, Angela Duckworth, known for her work on grit, added findings from her extensive research and made a compelling case for practicing and developing the necessary habits. A Fast Company article identifies five habits that are consistent. If you enter transformational leadership in your web browser, you will find multiple lists of habits and traits that say similar ideas.

Authenticity’s role

These habits, the leaders’ vision, and the leaders’ commitment must communicate authenticity to their organizations. The leaders do not need to have all of the answers but they do have to come across as authentic. Not having all of the answers actually creates room for others to generate ideas and own the leaders’ vision for themselves.

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