Transformational Leadership: Sustainable Change

February 29, 2024 at 9:58 AM |
Posted by:
Jordyn Jenkins
Jordyn Jenkins

What is transformational leadership and why is it effective? Transformational leadership is a leadership style that promotes positive change by inspiring and motivating those who follow, to achieve a shared vision by showing up with authentic passion and consideration for all individuals involved. There are 4 I’s in transformational leadership:

  1. Intellectual Stimulation
  2. Individualized Consideration
  3. Inspirational Motivation
  4. Idealized Influence

Transformational leaders challenge the status quo and inspire creativity amongst followers and explore new opportunities to learn. They foster individual relationships and support followers so that everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and are offered recognition for those ideas. Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are passionate about and help motivate others to fulfill the goals of the vision. Finally, these leaders have worked to gain rapport and respect through relationships, consistency, and authenticity, and as they serve as role models for followers, followers ultimately internalize their ideals. To fulfill the 4 I’s of this leadership style, leaders must be adaptable, inspirational, self-aware, open-minded, willing to take responsibility, and willing to take risks.

Here are a few examples of inspirational leaders you might know! Think about some of the leadership traits these individuals acquire that might inspire a sense of hopefulness for you… What do you admire about them? How might their leadership style been effective during their time?

  • Mother Teresa
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Nelson Mandela

Transformational LeadershipThe idea for this blog came out of a conversation I was having about sustainable change and the idea that we can do anything when we’re not alone. As Rock County moves through this groundbreaking, child welfare systems transformation work, in partnership with Alia, I had to think about what was holding us all together in the face of adversity. It’s this. It’s transformational leadership. Reflecting on our leadership in Rock County, it has taken showing up with authenticity to consistently get staff, leaders, parents, and other community providers on board. Even four years into the project and still receiving pushback in some areas, the authenticity does not waiver. They show up, listen, make changes as needed, provide opportunities for others to make suggestions and promote ideas, continue to lead by example, maintain clear and direct focus on the overarching vision, and are not afraid to admit mistakes or when they need support. I’ve also had the opportunity to witness Alia’s leadership when it comes to problem-solving, supporting our leadership at Rock, facing challenges head-on, and leaning on staff who all have unique areas of strength and expertise. The common denominator here is that these leaders are humble. They recognize that it is impossible to do and be everything to everyone all the time, so when they show up, they show up fully present. They rely on their team, they adapt, try new things, take risks, and ultimately, continue to inspire others to fulfill the vision because they, too, embody the passion these leaders have so bravely demonstrated. That is transformational leadership.