Alarm bells rang recently when a client shared that their owner-to-be was already making noises they’d be ‘telling the staff that this is how it’s going to be’ in the early days of the new ownership.
There are key differences in two of the leadership styles evident in the world today.
The more traditional model is transactional leadership – commonly characterised with the old carrot and stick analogy. As its name suggests, it is based on transactions - you do this work for me and I’ll pay you accordingly. It is more of a ‘This is what you’ll do’ model, with the ‘or else’ implied or explicit. This leadership style can be appropriate in certain workplaces, e.g. when situations call for strict compliance to safety rules.
It is more suited to the ‘same old same old’ style of industry where change isn’t tapping on your door. Hmm know many of those these days?
A problem with this style is it doesn’t necessarily encourage collaboration, a learning environment, problem-solving, teamwork. And this can be a definite disadvantage when our world is changing so rapidly. The transactional style of leadership can render businesses vulnerable, by leaving them open to being left behind when their competitors respond more quickly to change.
Transformational leadership on the other hand encourages learning, collaboration. It is a vision led, values driven style of operating.
Transformational leaders promote cross – hierarchy level communication, encouraging solutions focused dialogue and processes.
As its name suggests, it is better suited to changing, turbulent times.
This style also has the benefit of tapping into employee’s sense of purpose, which we know is good for productivity, staff retention and staff morale. (Regardless of which generation we fall into).
It can be challenging to new leaders who have only known and worked with the transactional style of ‘leading’ to realise that there are potentially more effective ways.
If you or your team has been operating along the transactional model and are now facing industry change, or just recognise that a more inclusive culture has its benefits, it may well be prudent to do an honest stock take of how your leadership team operates, and purposefully address this potential risk.
Develop your vision and mission statements to articulate where you want to be, your values, your core purpose
Open the doors to the wealth of your team’s experience and knowledge
Practice management by walking around – checking in on what is working well for your team, and what issues or barriers they are dealing with
Share the changes and challenges that you are facing with your team and
Encourage them to be part of the solution
Changing times call for changing leadership. Tapping into the considerable skill and knowledge in your team is one way to be proactive for change.
If you'd like help with any of the above suggestions, leadership upskilling, strategy, transformation, culture improvement, or any positive change initiative give me a call
Leigh 027 669 1243
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