There are many different methods of effective leadership. One popular idea introduced by James McGregor Burns in 1978 is transformational leadership, a style that suggests great leaders dig deeper and help their followers find intrinsic motivation to pursue a group vision and goal. 

Many leaders have a difficult time motivating their followers. In business situations, they report their staff is listless, doesn’t seem to care, and that they have a high turnover rate. 

With transformational leadership skills, someone else can come to lead that same team of people without too many different results. Their followers believe in their work and find it to be personally satisfying, so they care more about their job and show up in a way that gets better results at the end of the day.

The first thing a transformational leader will do is develop a vision for their team. What is the purpose of their team’s work? This vision should be compelling in a way that understands the values of the people on the team. If the team worked in the real estate industry, their goal would be to help their clients find the best properties to purchase and to have satisfied clients at the end of the transaction. The agents on the team want to be the best at what they do, have deals done as soon as possible, and build a reputation with happy clients. 

The more a leader understands what motivates their team, the better they can tap into that with a vision of success that the team can work toward. These leaders will talk about the vision of success they often have and will turn that vision into a story that helps their team feel the goals are achievable. 

A transformational leader will also take the time to develop trust with their team. They will talk with them often and make it known people can come to them with issues. While you can build trust in a group setting, it’s also important to build one-on-one relationships with the members of your team. By meeting with them individually, you can create a safe place to build trust and assess the individual person’s struggles toward reaching their goals and help them find ways to better succeed. When your team understands that you are rooting for their success, and have high expectations you believe they can meet, they will be more motivated to prove you right. 

This type of leadership works with the long term in mind. Transformational leaders aren’t just trying to get their team through a project today, but are building a strong foundation to guide their business through the projects still to come.