The Institute for Transformational Leadership has established a set of Leadership Principles as a guide for emerging and current leaders. Within that framework, we have also identified the core capacities of transformational leaders.
Creates a Vision:
- Evokes the energy of a big dream, the energy of “inside-out,” and the energy of working at every level
- Works from mission and purpose and helps others connect their work with higher purpose
- Creates and communicates inspiring, aspirational and attainable vision
- Frames new narrative for implementation of vision
- Helps others navigate change by orienting people about where they are in the change process, what has happened, what is happening and what must happen next
- Champions new behaviors and actions, including risk taking and overcoming fear of failure
- Provides context for vision, strategy, and action
- Ensures clear prioritization for own contributions and for the organization
- Facilitates multi-option thinking (i.e. choices)
- Uses the energy aroused by those who oppose them or who are outside to forward the realization of their own dream.
Communicates Through Listening:
- Communicates effectively through deep listening, a unifying narrative, and skillful inquiry, demonstrating an understanding of how to use conversation to inspire and move others to action and establish positive accountability
- Understands how to communicate to stakeholders during the change process
- Creates strategic narratives and plans
- Convenes and facilitates conversations that open possibilities and outline key actions needed for implementation.
- Optimizes existing resources to meet most important challenges
- Prioritizes and focuses action
- Makes decisions and commits to action.
- Inspires others with compelling vision that inspires them to act boldly
- Builds shared perspective (helps people see the whole thing)
- Influences coalitions towards desired outcomes
- Builds and leverages networks; knows how to influence social networks
- Creates shared intention
- Creates shared sense of urgency
- Gains “buy in” from the group
- Reinforces the positive to build confidence and hope in the group.
- Facilitates learning and results
- Creates awareness
- Designs actions
- Plans and sets goals
- Manages progress and accountability
- Engages, develops and empowers others, tapping into their core strengths and helping build their confidence and capabilities
- Develops transformational thinking in others.
- Establishes cohesive group
- Identifies few, most important things vs. all the important things
- Evaluates most valuable activities and best use of resources.
Builds an Intentional Culture:
- Shapes culture
- Understands shadow side of culture
- Gives and receives feedback with positive accountability
- Gains or communicates clear and committed yes’s and no’s
- Holds true to commitments, building credibility.
Embodies Presence – Models the Way:
- Develops own capacity for transformational thinking
- Engages in the journey of inner development to acquire new capacities
- Leads from inner guidance and sound analysis
- Connects with the bigger picture and the “ecology of the whole”
- Co-creates relationships by building trust and sustained connection
- Shows genuine concern for the welfare and future of others
- Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty and sincerity
- Accepts responsibility for making a difference
- Establishes clear agreements and expectations with others
- Keeps promises
- Uses dialogue to harvest group’s wisdom
- Withdraws projections to enhance clarity and cooperation
- Fosters emotional connection to enhance experience and performance of group
- Demonstrates respect for others’ perceptions, learning style, personal being
- Harvests wisdom of own experiences
- Embodies an authentic, credible presence
- Sets the foundation for the organization by modeling and upholding ethical leadership
- Manages self and own reactivity to provide balanced, mindful leadership; leads with mindfulness and equanimity
- Brings a quality of embodied leadership presence that inspires confidence, trust, respect and loyalty from others
- Invites creativity and innovation.