Through Guy’s Eyes: Transactional vs Transformational leaders

Is your leadership style transactional or transformational?

It’s an important question, because the answer reveals whether or not a workforce predominantly composed of millennials (read: autonomous, independent thinkers) will follow your direction. Sadly, only a few (extremely visionary) leaders are transformational – think of Elon Musk and his ilk. Most of the rest run their organisations as if it were a machine, adopting a ‘by the numbers’ approach to getting the job done and fixing problems.

Read on to find out how to become a twenty-first century leader:

  1. Stop supervising your team. Micromanagement does no one any favours; it undermines everyone involved. Rather, show your employees that you trust them, and you’ll find that they would love to live up to your expectations.
  2. In return, show them that they can trust you. Keep them informed of the direction you’d like the organisation to follow and reveal your plans to get it there. Ask if they have any ideas on how to move the company forward.
  3. Ease off on the reward/punishment model. These are employees, not children. They don’t need carrots and sticks to be encouraged to perform well; they need inspiration and purpose.
  4. Remember that process is seldom as important as output. Does it matter if your employees aren’t on site, so long as they ultimately deliver?
  5. Set an example; cultivate behaviours that support the organisation’s goals, and encourage your team to do the same. Find ways to connect with them at a deeper level so that your actions resonate with them.
  6. Be transparent and authentic; a real human being – decoupled from your title – and watch the performance levels unleash themselves.