July 13, 2023

Transactional vs transformational leadership (Are you creating lasting impact?)

Leading with Intention

A common topic with my clients lately has been around transactional leadership versus transformational leadership.

A transactional leadership style is more of a directive, process-based approach. Managing within a confined structure to try to control outcomes. Sometimes referred to as a carrot and stick approach – “I’ll give you this, if you do that”.

This approach is common for many leaders to “manage” conversations and can be useful in specific business operations (this is how we do things around here) or, in your personal life (teaching children basic life skills to support them in the future).

Here’s why transactional leadership isn’t always the most effective way to lead if you want to create long term lasting impact and remain competitive in your industry. 

Transactional leadership is often apparent in hierarchical organizations. It focuses on rigid structure and producing immediate results rather than the vision for the future. My concern is, it’s not inspiring and presumes individuals and teams aren’t capable of finding their own motivation or achieving results their way. This style of leadership can get in the way of innovation and one’s growth rather than inspiring leadership within.

Transformational leadership creates long term lasting impact by focussing on inspiring a shared vision and tapping into the motivations of others. 

If your current style feels more transactional - you’re not alone. Leadership is a continuum of learning and development. We have the tools we have until we notice something is no longer working. (I’ve been there too)

If you are ready to shift out of this style and increase your impact, I promise there is an easier, more effective way forward. Learn how to make the shift in our [coaching Academy].

*Exept from page 12 of my book Leadership Unleashed ~ Awaken Your Extraordinary Leadership

Approaching business the way we always have is no longer sustainable. The new speed of change requires different thinking. For instance, it may sound counterintuitive to slow down your thinking, yet this helps you become thoughtful in your approach which translates to being intentional with how you move forward.

And slowing down thinking actually speeds up the decision-making process by helping you become more strategic and less reactive, saving you time in the long run. 

In order to produce different results, leaders today must learn to do things differently. When we discover our roadblocks and how to observe our own behaviours, we learn how to show up differently. Through this process we can achieve extraordinary results.

There are billions of brains around the world being shrunk by outdated communication styles, which is not surprising nor anyone’s fault. We start our early lives as geniuses. Our minds are like clean slates, wide open to possibility.  Over time our childhood experiences, school systems and societal norms gradually shrink our thinking. The very way that we have learned to exchange information (telling versus asking) minimizes our potential and limits what is possible for one another. Fast forward to our adult lives, where we end up playing small and unintentionally keep others small as a result. This comes at a cost to ourselves and those we support, including our families. It is how most of us have been raised. We may not be able to solve the bigger systemic issues, such as some antiquated education systems, but we can change how we lead ourselves and others.

As coaches we help our clients achieve impossible futures and we’re aware of all the untapped potential that exists within in us and all around us. Just imagine for a moment if you accessed only 2% of that untapped potential. What would be different?

We are much more capable than we realize. We all experience self-doubt at one time or another, believing that we’re not smart, skilled, or deserving enough; so we fly under the radar and play it safe. 

As coaches, we remind our clients of their unique brilliance and capabilities. Coaching is not just about creating outstanding business results (although it does do that too!).  Applying a coach approach inspires leadership, develops human potential and invites us to think differently. A coach approach is a way of being, opening up endless possibilities and makes our world a better place.

 If you’re thinking “I don’t have time to learn a new way or even think about hiring a coach, let alone coach my team” because you’re already too busy, I get it. I’m here to say, if you are tired of spinning your wheels, want better results and feel a deeper calling for something bigger, the only way forward is to make time. You are worth it. Carving out time is a prerequisite to making any kind of lasting change in your life.

If you are ready to have bigger impact and want to find an easier more productive path forward [let’s chat!]

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