The subject of the last workshop I attended here in Manchester was leadership, specifically the search for skills and behaviors that make us transformational leaders. According to Leithwood, the definition of transformational leaders is a facilitator in redefining the mission and vision of people. This leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation, which converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into agents of transformers values. Much has been said and written about this subject and I have a huge list of sources, in case anyone is interested. I will not delve into the definition of the term or history, I want to share my reflection on the leadership of our daily lives.
In search of leading processors, we had to remember someone who was part of our lives and inspired us positively. Try to do this exercise as well. What types of behaviors did this person have? What characteristics do you admire at the moment? Remembering these characteristics and behaviors we could define which of them we would like to have as a leaders or admire in the people that could work with us.
We got to our interpretation of the term, transformational leader, is one who can first be a leader of himself, and consequently an agent of transformations, of something really big or tiny. It has no relation with the position held or hierarchical leadership. It’s almost a state of mind that generates a behaviour that looks for effective changes. And it was here that I began my reflection. As a planner, I heard many times that part of my goals is to inspire the client, inspire the creative team, inspire the consumer, inspire the account manager team… And part of this whole exercise of inspiration, in my point of view is our attempt to be transformational leaders, trying to inspire change, trying to encourage new and more strategic behaviour.
We spend much of our time planning how to inspire all those people. And I asked you a question: are we spending part of this time inspiring ourselves or inspiring those who sits beside us every day and is part of our team? One of the key points of transformational leadership is to act according what you say. Looking at the experiences I’ve had so far and talks with my strategic planner friends, I had the feeling that just few of what we say is actually what we are doing within our teams. And, will we be able to be agents of change if we fail to inspire those who are already in search of inspiration, we strategic planners?
I am searching for experiences that could guide in the learning of how to become a leader and would definitely start trying to inspire those who are beside us every day. More than being hugely enjoyable to work with a team that feels inspired to go further, I believe is a great way to test behaviors, techniques and processes of leadership.
To close I want to share that in my memories exercise, that I mentioned earlier, I shared my experience of working with Rita Almeida, who was for me an incredible example of transformational leader who inspires the team all the time, with small actions all day. I know that I have the power to choose what I kind of leader I want to be, in this reflection I choose that I want to be a Rita. 🙂
A little more about reflections: in Hyper Island, the exercise of reflection has two parts, one individual and one to share, always in the first person in singular.
So what is your thinking about leadership? If you want to share: firstname.lastname@example.org