Transformational Leader as an Agent for Change
Sam Walton and Howard Schultz both founded very successful organizations and demonstrated leadership by implementing practices that were unprecedented in retail. For example, Schultz insisted that all employees working at least 20 hours a week get comprehensive health coverage and employee stock options. Walton believed that the best results in business were found through generosity with employees so, as a benefit, he offered profit sharing.
The success of both of men demonstrates that a leader in a corporation or a business has an impact on others who work in close association with him/her.
Leaders as Agents of Transformational Change
The personal transformation of a leader in a corporation can pave the way for transformation within a corporation. Transformation refers to the creation of a new state of an individual or an organization. The leader can act as a change agent but cannot produce change alone. Organizational change happens among individuals within the corporation. To enact change the leader must:
- Authentically communicate their values
- Create a collective vision within the corporation
- Facilitate the emergence of the new vision
Prototyping is a leadership skill that allows transformational changes to evolve. It involves being open to future possibilities, listening to feedback and rediscovering purpose through reinventing. Leaders can affect transformation by:
- Giving up the search for cause and effect
- Encouraging interaction between people
- Developing an awareness of change
- Encouraging the creation of new ideas and possibilities
- Being aware that everyone creates their own reality and is constantly changing
The Impact of Transformative Leaders has four dimensions:
- Help managers to become role models
- Empower managers to motivate associates to buy in to the vision of the organization
- Enable managers to encourage innovation and creativity within the organization
- Inspire managers to serve as advisors and coaches to others
As demonstrated by the leaders of Wal-Mart and Starbucks, transformative leadership can produce performance results far beyond the expectations of organizations.