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Running any type of business requires strong and strategic leadership. So what are the skills needed to succeed today? What are the components of leadership that can prove so successful?

I believe in the vision and success of Transformational Leadership. I have worked with a number of high level leaders from both public service and entrepreneurial private business over three decades. I was introduced to the concept of transformational leadership in a middle management position where I had been much more focused on results (getting things done) and being very transactional and task driven. So what changed?

Charisma, empathy, confidence, innovation, Kaizen (continuous improvement) and individuality defines the keys to unlock potential and achieving the best from others. These “keys” unlock so much in people! New stars introduced to these concepts really release the full blossom of their talent and leadership potential.

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The Components of Transformational Leadership

Bass (1998) suggested that there are four key components of transformational leadership.

1. Intellectual Stimulation– Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.

2. Individualised Consideration– Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of the unique contributions of each follower.

3. Inspirational Motivation– Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfil these goals.

4. Idealised Influence– The transformational leader serve as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalise his or her ideals.

Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech encompasses much of what I feel now about leadership. Many contemporary people in the public eye have been transformational, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Branson

All had a vision of the future they wanted to create. They took hold of their futures and left a lasting impression on all those around them.

I have been fortunate to work with some great people and continue to do so. Rod Doyle who has been my mentor in so many ways and my delightfully inspiring colleague and friend Lisa O’Reilly who continues to shape and empower our team whilst encouraging learning and growth both personally and in business.

Here are a few thoughts from Steve Jobs on leadership at Apple.

“The number of people I get to interact with in this company is probably about 50 on a regular basis. Maybe 100. And one of the things that I’ve always felt is that most things in life, if you get something twice as good as average you’re doing phenomenally well. Usually the best is about 30% better than average. Two to one’s a big delta. But what became really clear to me in my work life was that, for instance, [Steve] Wozniak was 25 to 50 times better than average. And I found that there were these incredibly great people at doing certain things, and you couldn’t replace one of these people with 50 average people. They could just do stuff that no number of average people could do. […]. And so I have spent my work life trying to find and recruit and retain and work with these kind of people. My #1 job here at Apple is to make sure that the top 100 people are A+ players. And everything else will take care of itself.”

Steve Jobs.

So what do you think? What has been your journey? I’d love to hear from you!

About the author: Steve Laws is the Compliance and Safety Director for the Tess Group. The thoughts expressed are his own and based around his experiences in developing skills and concepts of Leadership.