TransformationalLeadershipAndMentoring

Transformational Leadership and Mentoring – The Journey Continues

New possibilities to elevate performance and fulfill potential

In my last article, Is Your Organisation Mentor Ready, I commented on the synergies that are shared between leadership and mentoring. I commented on how transformational leadership and mentoring shared many of the same attributes. I want to add to the equation, servant leadership, as I see the three of these being so closely aligned.

What is Transformational leadership ?

Transformational leadership is a new paradigm that transforms our very notion of leadership. First conceptualised by James McGregor Burns (1978), it has yet to be fully realised except in the rarest of organisations with the most visionary of leaders.

Mentors are like informal teachers to a “mentee” or protégé. They are usually more concerned with awakening the person’s inner potential for learning and action, as opposed to helping them achieve specific results.

Transformational leadership, in contrast to Transactional Leadership, emphasises intrinsic motivation and the development of its followers. In so doing, it offers a whole new world of possibilities to elevate performance and fulfill individual, organisational and community potential.

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Transformational leaders align the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organisation. They stimulate their followers’ efforts toward innovation and creativity, and they inspire others to commit to a shared vision and shared goals for an organisation.

Servant Leadership is defined as:

Leadership has two parts: vision and implementation. In the visionary role, leaders define the direction. It’s their responsibility to communicate what the organisation stands for and wants to accomplish. The responsibility for this visionary role falls to the hierarchical leadership. The visionary role is the leadership aspect of servant leadership.

Servant leaders feel their role is to help people achieve their goals. They try to find out what their people need to be successful. They want to make a difference in the lives of their people and, in the process, impact the organisation.

Mentoring is defined as:

Mentors are like informal teachers to a “mentee” or protégé. They are usually more concerned with awakening the person’s inner potential for learning and action, as opposed to helping them achieve specific results. In my more imaginative thinking, a mentor is like a wizard. Think of Merlin or Professor Dumbledore. They don’t give up all the answers or tell you what to do.

There is no one style of leadership that fits each challenge that we face. Situational leadership seems to be the solution.

Instead, they guide you to the answers with problem solving and the use of metaphors and story-telling. The role of a mentor is all about effectively passing on knowledge and experience. Mentorship can be formal (i.e. business mentoring) or informal. However, the relationship between mentor and protégé is almost always long-term.

By definition alone, we can see, that there are similarities between all three. The interesting part that I have found throughout all my research is that it is based on relationships, communication and working with people to help them be the best they can be.

This is a marked change from the traditional style of leadership that is focused on “directing or telling” which has fallen out of favour with younger workers in the workplace who want to be challenged and not told how to do things. In fact, I am seeing more and more of the workforce moving to this.

There is no one style of leadership that fits each challenge that we face. Situational leadership seems to be the solution.

There is one thing that does stand out throughout all of this – that mentoring can and must be part of the leadership toolkit, no matter what style we take. When I look through my leadership toolkit, there are three main tools that I have. They are:-

  • mentoring;
  • servant leadership; and
  • transformational leadership.

What do you have in your leadership toolkit?

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It’s Good to Talk image courtesy Jon [email protected]

References:

1. Wright Foundation for Transformational Leadership | 445 E. Ohio, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60611 773.595.5200 | fax: 312.645.8333
2. What’s the Difference between Life Coaching and Mentoring





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