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  • The Woolf Partnership

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership sounds like a bold statement, something that can easily become caught up in the myriad of corporate jargon. A large claim of business success, a reinforcement to clients that they are in innovative hands, and perhaps an attraction point for recruiting strong candidates. Underneath all the promises and flashy language lies something very simple, something we believe can really make the difference to any business. Transformational Leaders understand change. They have the desire to move ahead and commit to progress. They are:

Authentic. Transparent. Positively Disruptive.

After extensive research talking to clients and candidates — active, passive, and not looking– we found that the main driver for unhappiness at work came down to trust. Unpicking that, the most common reason people are open to opportunities is because they don’t fully understand what their leadership wants. Or if they do, they don’t believe in it.. Those who trust that their leaders tell them the truth are much more likely to remain engaged and committed, whatever the circumstances. Going one step further, people who feel they can really bring their whole self to work and that their leadership showcase that too, are even harder to head hunt. Gone are the days where people jump ship solely based on remuneration. People are motivated by culture and challenge. The ability to do what you love in an open and honest environment entices even the best paid candidates. However, enticing them is only the start.

Proving the new employer will live up to the claim that the leadership really walks the walk and talks the talk is another matter. In each and every conversation candidates have with their future employer they need to see a commitment to transparency. The easiest sell is when a candidate meets a client and sees that they are exactly what they say they are on the tin. Down to earth, open, honest, and direct. These are the traits that sell jobs just as much as the jobs themselves.

People yearn to work on juicy projects, they strive to do something different. Successful leaders spot that and nurture it. Recognising that to succeed you need to shake things up means being positively disruptive. Disruption for disruptive sake is not the goal. We look for leaders who have the courage to take measured risks and try new ways of working, those who take a leap of faith on a new idea and lead by example, inspiring others to do the same. Leaders who can spot the Intrapreneurs in their business and allow them the bandwidth to generate new ideas, before supporting them to develop those ideas. Positively disruptive leaders know that by shaking things up, change will come.

After coming up with our not so secret sauce we started noticing individuals across industries and sectors who display this style of leadership and didn’t want to keep them to ourselves. With each individual we feel there is an opportunity to inspire others to have the confidence to be more authentic. To continue to be transparent with their teams and colleagues. To push the boundaries and boldly positively disrupt.

Over the course of the next few months we will be showcasing our Transformational Leadership series. In partnership with some fantastic students from School 21 we have been interviewing not only these unique people but also the people they manage. We have delved into what makes them so unique and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Watch this space…

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