There is a mind-shift evolving…
Allan Gatenby & Meny Lees
Research and experience indicates that leadership determines the rate, direction and depth of change within organisations. Leaders either drive the organisation on, or out. Monastic and military models of leadership that have dominated our thinking for decades are gradually being replaced by more effective and sustainable leadership styles. Transformational or collaborative leadership now dominates the literature and shapes our thinking. It is a compelling argument but how well do we understand the life of the transforming leader and how well are transformational leaders prepared and supported in their transition from good to great?
Clearly transformational leadership requires a different skill set. Collaborative processes require of the leader skills around engaging, researching (outside the square), resilience, managing and developing diversity and team, synthesising, conceptualising, coaching and coherence building. Their resilience must enable them to endure the chaos, pain and joy of transformation. Great transformational leaders must become ‘comfortable’ with endless beginnings, with ‘holy insecurity’.
Transforming leaders must draw their security from their own ability to change, rather than their position in the organisation. Leading from the front with vision and authenticity, and with staff in a collaboration/team way is more productive than the old directive and authoritarian models. Change begins with the leader looking within themselves for the vision, capacity and courage to lead. True authenticity also begins in oneself.
Transformational leaders are powerful. Their power comes from their personal and professional quality with those key attributes of authenticity, integrity, openness. Such leaders will have a deeper, more lasting influence on an organisation. They will focus upon and build human capital, capturing the creativity of human resources and build relational capacity of an organisation. Remember Covey’s 5th Habit – “first seek to understand and then be understood”.
The great leaders of this time are beginning to realise that they must act with a sense of social responsibility, not only within the organisation but also about the organisation’s responsibility to society in general. Shareholders are not the only stakeholders. For true sustainability, our great leaders are seeing that what they do must not only be for the good of the shareholder but also for the good of the community in which the organisation operates.
The goal of transforming leaders is flexible responsive organisations, which are led by people who can read the signs, respond with coherence and maximise the potential of the group by thinking beyond the square, invest in the human resources, harness the creativity of the stakeholders, look for synergy and value diversity, act with social responsibility, think win – win. They lead from within.
By internalising this mind-shift you will gain greater clarity about the life of the transforming leader and you will be better able conceptualise your organisational essence. You will be better able to lead collaboratively and collaboration will become the new cultural norm of your organisation.
About the Authors
Allan Gatenby’s effectiveness as a transforming leader was recognised in 2005 by being nominated for a National Award for quality leadership. His qualifications include an M.Ed (Leadership & Management), BA, Dip Teach. He has additional qualifications in Investigation and Conciliation and OHS. He has trained with Franklin Covey and Glasser Institutes and is an internationally accredited Career Planning Practitioner (ICC).
Meny Lees is a Professionally Certified Coach (PCC), accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) She holds additional certifications as a Leadership & Talent Management Coach and Wellness Coach, together with qualifications in various performance diagnostics. Meny is also a graduate of Anthony Robbins Mastery University Program.