Six days before the world shockingly and unexpectedly shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was enjoying a lovely breakfast with a young woman named Chelsea. We had met the day prior at a conference where I had been engaged to speak to a group of leaders in the financial sector. As soon as I walked off the stage, Chelsea and I struck up a fascinating conversation about real-time leadership. It was clear that we could have talked all afternoon, but because Chelsea had to return to work, she suggested that we continue our chat the following morning over a meal before I left for the airport. [Read more…] about Three Reasons Why Your Business Needs Real-Time Leadership
Recent world events have magnified the sense of urgency for new thought leadership and methodologies. Leaders need to be exceptionally prepared to adjust on the fly, expect the unexpected, prioritize and be available for their teams like never before. As the workforce continues to transform, many leaders are discovering that their previous practices are no longer relevant. This begs the question for leaders: Do you still have a passion to lead? [Read more…] about Do You Still Have a Passion to Lead?
As leaders, you no doubt understand the degree to which you profoundly influence every aspect of your organization. Finding the secret sauce to successfully lead a mix of personalities need not be elusive. And keeping current is possible when you decide to carve out time to yourself. The possibilities turn into probabilities the more you are able to access your self-awareness and capacity to remain a lifelong learner. In order to achieve immediate organizational objectives while preparing for the future, honing your leadership skills remains a priority. As Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo wisely said: Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. Focusing on the following competencies can help you succeed right now: [Read more…] about Three Skills Leaders Need To Succeed Right Now
Two individuals, Bass and Avolio, developed four key elements of transformational leadership: Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration. The latter is defined as providing individual team members with sincere attention to their respective emotional states of mind, needs and concerns. Consider the trajectory of your career to date and the impact of leaders who have intentionally made it a priority to show interest in you, your family and your pursuits outside of the workplace. Are you able to easily recall these experiences? Ideally, you have more than a few positive memories of leaders who made a deliberate effort to get to know you on an individual level, encouraging you to succeed and replicate this core attribute. [Read more…] about Transformational Leadership: Individualized Consideration
“I don’t have all the answers.” “Maybe there’s a better way.” “How can we improve?” Ideally, leaders who have these thoughts are truly open to seeking the opinions of their teams, advancing intellectual stimulation in order to find solutions. As a leader, can you identify with this style? Are you able to let go and encourage your team to think independently? Such leaders exemplify transformational leadership in action. More specifically, these leaders place high value on arousing their team’s creativity and imagination to solve organizational problems. [Read more…] about Transformational Leadership: Intellectual Stimulation
By definition, inspirational motivation involves two key components. First, a leader must be clear about his or her vision. Secondly, a leader needs to express his or her vision in a manner that excites and drives higher levels of performance. Over the course of my career, many leaders have asked “How do I inspire and motivate my team?” It is a burning question that never grows old and preoccupies the minds of many leaders in every market sector. The capacity to motivate others is a talent and an art.So, where to start? [Read more…] about Transformational leadership: Inspirational Motivation
If you have had experience working with a leader who genuinely gets to know his or her people, sets the standard and follows through in his or her communication, you have indeed been fortunate. Empirical research in many sectors of industry confirms that consistent actions and behaviours on the part of leaders earn the respect and trust of individuals and teams alike. Consider the proverb: “A chain is as strong as its weakest link.” When a leader’s attitudes and follow though are inconsistent, he or she may become the weakest link…i.e. the bigger problem. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to understand the impact of this paradox. [Read more…] about Get to Know Your People, Set a Standard and Follow Through
Visualize a workplace where high trust is evident. What does a high trust environment look like? First, you are likely to witness happy, engaged and productive teams. They many not necessarily be in the same physical location to be collaborating on a project. Or you may find that very few supervisors are present or required to provide inspiration and feedback. Trust is intangible. It is a bond created by individuals from the moment information is shared, a task is assigned or a job description is provided. It is an integral element of successful professional relationships at all levels. [Read more…] about How to Develop Trust Between Leaders and Teams
Why is it that so many change management initiatives fail? In order to achieve buy-in, the first step involves understanding the impact of change. Individual perceptions regarding change are based on experiences; both personal and professional. As Newton’s law states: A body at rest stays at rest. A body in motion keeps moving. Change is a choice. The adage: Nothing changes if nothing changes is highly relevant for today’s leaders. When a person discovers his or her “pain point” then he or she is ready to move forward. The same principles apply for organizations. Change is a visceral, emotional experience. [Read more…] about Is Change Management Really That Hard?
An example of Transformational Leadership that continues to make headlines is known to millions of travelers. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp are renowned as the founders of Uber. Their respective journeys as technology mavericks have been both lauded and criticized, depending on one’s vantage point. Uber has revolutionized the manner in which we “tap the app” in order to get from Point A to Point B. According to “folklore”, both were attending a technology conference in Paris in 2008 and on a particular snowy night, conceptualized Uber when they couldn’t catch a taxi. The company’s primary competitors in the taxi and chauffeured transportation sectors have been in “reactive” mode ever since Uber burst on the scene a decade ago.
What makes Uber’s founders such a fascinating study? Kalanick and Camp not only identified a consumer need…They successfully anticipated the future by responding to this need in an unprecedented manner. In a nutshell: Uber has transformed an entire market segment: Ground transportation. Kalanick and Camp are transformational leaders who predicted the future by parlaying their vision into a global phenomenon.
Today’s consumers are attracted to companies that offer immediacy, ease of use and tangible cost benefits when it comes to solving their problems. Transformational leaders are always ahead of the curve. They possess a unique understanding of real-world challenges and an extraordinary capacity to create new realities. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp exemplify transformational leadership. They’ve changed the way that we go about getting transportation all over the world by making it easier and instantly accessible. What did we do in a world without Uber?
Anticipating the future as a transformational leader is not only about seeing the future and not only responding to change. Leaders who are transformational also possess the ability to predict the future before it even happens. It requires a relentless focus on creating and managing outstanding customer experiences. Uber has successfully gone above and beyond traditional marketing avenues to have brand ambassadors sharing these experiences in their communities, both on and off-line, locally and globally.
If you wish to see yourself as an example of transformational leadership, hone your ability to anticipate, act and trust in your vision. These are some of the most important characteristics of leaders who are cognizant of the need to think forward in times of constant change.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com