Transformational leadership is about having an aspirational goal and a team to help achieve it. An exemplification of a transformational leader is Sanjiv Bajaj as he innovates, transforms, and empowers his employees to deliver exemplary services to the end consumer. Through digitisation and reinvention every three to five years, he and his team are always at the top of their game.
When a leader exhibits skills to transform its people, transform the way the end customer engages, and transform the overall ecosystem, The result is an embodiment of successful famous corporate leaders.
Transformational leadership is about being able to inspire people and motivate them to see the goals as you see them. A great visionary who has the right approach to groom the future of tomorrow by motivating and implementing team spirit amongst each member is an exemplification of a truly transformational leader. With participative leadership, clear communication, and a strong sense of ownership, a leader along with his team can achieve the unattainable.
As defined by the leadership Guru, James McGregor Burns, transformational leadership is exhibited when both leaders and their supporters can elevate one another to better themselves and increase the level of motivation and morality. Over the years, the role of a transformational leader has evolved further to one who inherently exhibits qualities that lead to the transformation of their followers, the organization they are associated with, and extends this transformation beyond their place of work to other spheres of life and society.
One of the leading financial leaders in India, Sanjiv Bajaj is a truly transformational leader and has been bestowed with the Transformational Leader Award in 2017 at the Asian Centre’s Leadership. The Corporate Governance, Sustainability, and CSR Awards are a testament to this fact.
He envisions the future and equips his employees with the need of the hour – digitisation, to best deal with customers and evolving business demands. Known to innovate and reinvent his ways of working and the company’s style of working every three to five years, this leader has a clear vision and knows exactly what will help him and his team achieve the end goal.
This is the reason he was able to bring his company to the second position in an already saturated space – insurance. A name to reckon with in financial services and recognized as one of the top financial business leaders in India, Sanjiv Bajaj exemplifies what it means to be a go-getter with a clear vision.
How to Become a Transformational Leader
To become a transformational leader, the following qualities must be imbibed:
Have an Inspiring Vision
A transformational leader must have a vision that inspires people to follow in the leader’s footsteps. The people who you lead need to have faith in your vision and work towards it diligently. Your vision cannot be dreamy and something far-fetched. It should definitely be aspirational in addition to being commensurate with your organisation’s value, the employees’ capabilities, and the resources that you have to achieve these goals.
Once you have analyzed your environment, strengths, and limitations, it is not only easier to set an inspiring end goal but also a coherent, meticulous, and well-thought-out strategy to achieve it as well.
Encourage People to Buy into Your Goals and Help Deliver the Vision
Your vision needs to be appealing to your followers’ values. Goals should inspire them and they should have faith in you as a leader. This is where your storytelling skills will come into play – you need to be able to ingrain in them the fact that the goal is a common one. Everyone has individual goals.
They should be clear about linking their goals to the larger goal, and how their contribution will help achieve it. Encouragement plays a crucial factor and without it, nothing much can be achieved. It is essential and the duty of a leader to keep followers motivated at all times.
Deliver the Vision to Make it a Reality
A good vision and encouragement are not enough if those cannot be transformed into reality. You may have the best goals and a group of highly motivated people supporting you but if the effort is not enough and not made at the right time, it remains nothing but a dream. To ensure this, the role and responsibility of every person must be clearly explained. They need to be aware of how their efforts are directly responsible for a better tomorrow.
Project management and change management need to be trodden carefully and prudently. You can set short-term goals so people achieve multiple quick wins and remain encouraged and motivated with each passing win. Link these short-term achievements to the long-term goal. You need to lead by example during the delivery phase so self-discipline, hard work, persistence, and stamina are the key qualities.
Build Trust and Strengthen Relationships
A transformational leader needs to excel at people management. Your people are your key assets and you need to acknowledge that your success as a leader is extremely dependent on your people. You need to help your team grow as individuals, earn their trust, build long-term relationships and work with them to achieve your collective goal. Equip and empower them to achieve their career goals, have honest one-on-one interactions, and invest time in coaching them.
Transformational leadership is not known to be attained overnight. In order to motivate and lead your people, a lot of time should be spent on personal development and honing one’s skills. A transformational leader inspires trust and loyalty in their people, sets high expectations and aspirational goals, and then equips and inspires them to attain goals.