How would you describe a strong leader? In one study, leadership qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence, and conscientiousness were cited as the most important. “Research clearly shows that transformational leaders—leaders who are positive, inspiring, and who empower and develop followers—are better leaders,” explains psychologist and leadership expert Ronald E. Riggio. “They are more valued by followers and have higher performing teams.”
So what can you do embrace these valued leadership qualities and become a stronger and more effective leader? Transformational leaders are usually described as enthusiastic, passionate, genuine and energetic. These leaders are not just concerned about helping the group achieve its goals; they also care about helping each member of the group reach his or her full potential. Consider some of the following tips for how to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life.
Start by Understanding Your Leadership Style
Understanding your current leadership style is essential. What are your strengths? Which areas need some improvement? Once you have answered those questions, think about the major characteristics of your dominant style. Are these qualities helping or hindering your leadership? Once you’ve determined which areas need some work, you can begin looking for ways to improve your leadership abilities.
Intellectual stimulation is one of the leadership qualities that define transformational leadership. Followers need to be encouraged to express their creativity. Effective leaders should offer new challenges with ample support to achieve these goals. One way to foster creativity is to offer challenges to group members, making sure that the goals are within the grasp of their abilities. The purpose of this type of exercise is to get people to stretch their limits but not become discouraged by barriers to success.
Serve as a Role Model
Idealized influence is another of the four key components of transformational leadership. Transformational leaders exemplify the behaviors and characteristics that they encourage in their followers. They walk the walk and talk the talk. As a result, group members admire these leaders and work to emulate these behaviors. If you want to become a better leader, work on modeling the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.