In the business community, there's often debate about the most effective leadership style. Some tout a transactional leadership style, where leaders develop an organisational structure that relies on self-motivated direct reports to achieve results. Others prefer a more transformational style, where leaders work to motivate their employees using approaches that promote engagement and reasoning. Besides all the other styles, we believe these two are fundamental.
We regularly refer to Growth Leadership and Growth Leaders. This is because we developed a framework built upon transactional and transformational leadership practices.
This approach is grounded in the visionary qualities of transformational leadership with the pragmatic structure of transactional leadership, creating a dynamic and effective leadership model that takes a holistic approach to achieving results.
Transformational Leadership as the fundament
The Growth Leadership model is built on the four pillars of transformational leadership, forming the outermost ring of this leadership framework. The characteristics in the outer ring of the framework are the pillars upon which a growth leader's success is built.
Let's look closely at each to understand how they contribute to developing a growth leadership style.
Think of the leaders you've met who have left a lasting impact on you. What made them stand out? They likely can infuse energy and passion into their vision, making it contagious. A growth leader excels at inspiring and motivating their team, creating an environment where enthusiasm for the shared vision is palpable.
Leadership is not just about making decisions; it's about setting an example. A growth leader acts as a role model, embodying the behaviours, ethics and character they wish to see in their team. They strive to be people worth emulating, building trust and inspiring loyalty.
Growth leaders are catalysts for change and advancement. They instigate change by challenging their team to think differently. A growth leader encourages creative thinking, challenges the status quo, and fosters an environment where every team member's voice is heard and valued. Intellectual stimulation is the fuel that drives innovation and transformation.
Leadership is inherently personal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. A growth leader recognises the need to wear different hats and fulfil various roles based on what each situation calls for. They identify each team member's unique talents and create strategies for them to hone those skills, fostering an environment where individuals can thrive and grow.
What leadership skills to develop?
Moving to the next inner level on the above graphic, you can see that these traits contribute to four skills that a growth leader must develop: self-leadership, visionary leadership, operational excellence, and people management. These are focus areas to develop and are competencies that will help you with organisational leadership. Always with the mindset and the overall approach of a transformational leaders
Self-leadership is about the ability to reflect on what you stand for, your purpose, and your vision. Another critical area is emotional intelligence, which paves your path to becoming a role model. Finally, it is about being resilient in the face of all of the challenges that you will face.
Vision is the heart of Growth Leadership. Crafting and communicating a compelling vision is not just about setting goals; it's about painting a picture of a future that excites and motivates everyone involved. When you are successful in this part, your vision probably reflects a purpose that resonates with the individual values in your organisation.
When focusing on operational excellence, we develop the structure for the culture to deliver upon the vision. It is about operationalising our vision through processes, tasks, objectives and performance management. It comes to realising the vision most effectively and efficiently.
Of course, nothing can done without people. We must lead and motivate people daily and provide them with personal development opportunities. Improving collaboration and developing highly performant teams also falls under this umbrella. For that, we need to connect with our people as leaders genuinely.
How to recognise a Growth Leader?
Ultimately, a growth leader is someone who successfully masters these skills and can apply them to be:
- A Visionary Self-Starter, being a role model, by taking action every day
- A Pragmatic Strategist who knows how to translate vision into strategy and operationalise it in an inductive manner
- An Organisation Architect who knows how to design and implement structures to deliver (customer) value
- An Empathetic Leader who connects with his team and learns from this interaction.
A Growth Leader refines his skills continuously, and leads with purpose to become the leader his team and organisation needs.
A Growth Leader grows his business and organisation with more joy and less stress.
If you are ready to become a Growth Leader, here are 4 ways I can help you:
- Read my blog with more of these articles.
- Join the Growth Letter (Saturday) and get a headstart with one actionable insight every week. Let's Lead with impact, Let's G(r)O(w)!
- Subscribe to this Newsletter if you haven't.
- Or schedule a Clarity call to discuss Growth Leadership topics; I'll share all the insights to help you instantly boost your team's performance.