My team and I are working with a number of clients to build leadership capability.
With a large financial services organisation, we’re moving from a highly transactional management style to a leader as coach style. At the moment their managers ‘tell’ their team members what to do, micromanaging tasks and outcomes. They want empowered team members to manage their own workflow, have delegation to make client centred decisions and be highly aligned with the organisation’s goals and purpose.
Why? In a fast-paced, ever-changing business environment they need an agile and responsive workforce.
The danger for organisations undertaking this change is to ensure the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in one direction. Transformational leadership skills are important but not always superior to transactional leadership skills.
Transformational capabilities make managers purposeful and inspirational. Transactional capabilities make them organised and compelling.
A balance enables you to drive difficult change effectively and conduct “business as usual” efficiently. Transformational leaders are viewed more positively, are more successful in their careers, have better relationships with their own managers and make more of a contribution to the organisation than do those who are only transactional. They are perceived as having higher levels of purpose, adaptability, involvement and consistency compared to their transactional counterparts.
None of these positives can be fully realised without transactional leadership skills such as getting the management basics right: planning, organising, resourcing, and communicating.
Your leadership framework should assess and support both styles.