4 Behaviors of Transformational Leaders

road to transformational leadership

With 93% of small business owners across the United States actively engaging in social networking sites, we can’t ignore the impact of our words and actions. And, regardless of who you are or where you work, we have a shared responsibility for how we’re perceived both locally and globally.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world”,  is a powerful yet simple reminder of how one person, can be a catalyst for transformation. Before heading into the classroom, I'd see this reminder posted on my desk. Those 10 words helped set the tone for my day.

Transformational Leaders

Leadership experts, like Dr. Bernard Bass, have spent over 30 years researching political, religious, military and business leaders like: Nelson Mandela, Alexander the Great, Steve Jobs, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Cochrane.


Each of these noteworthy individuals share the following four behaviors:

  1. Inspiring - motivates and challenges others to step outside of their comfort zones, encourages goal setting, provides clear, constant, and consistent communication that positively moves people forward

  2. Innovative - fosters idea generation, sees mistakes as learning opportunities, embraces change

  3. Empathetic - acts as a mentor, coach or guide, looks at people holistically; considers strengths, opportunities, and needs along with personal development

  4. Influential - gives and encourages respect, consistently demonstrates and promotes a clear set of values, purpose, mission and vision

Each behavior is connected through a basis of respect, encouragement and influence that are the hallmarks of transformational leaders.  People rely on one another and not just in a work environment; giving us equal opportunity to practice, encourage and embrace these same behaviors and qualities in our own and others' leadership odyssey.

Transformational Power

I was introduced to a wonderful book by Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall where she explores the transformational power of lifelong learning. In The Power to Transform: Leadership That Brings Learning and and Schooling to Life, Marshall closes with a letter to her grandchildren to serve as a reminder in the event they "dismiss as impossible or as nonsense your genuine capacity to change the world."

My favorite is reminder:  #10. Remember that contrary to the voices, images, sounds and messages that surround and bombard you, your life life is about:

Your integrity, not your position
Your voice, not your power
Your name, not your title
Your calling, not your career
Your legacy, not your success

What new and unique ways have you come up with to challenge the status quo and alter the environment to support others success?

 Download all 10 Life Lessons "here"