8 Transformational Characteristics All Leaders Share

I’m on a blogging sabbatical to write my book. This is a guest by TJ Trent. TJ is an individual transformation expert. His passion is helping individuals excel through facing and overcoming their challenges, discovering their true dreams, achieving their impossible vision, thus becoming extraordinary.

Transformation is a metamorphosis of something or someone. The Butterfly experiences metamorphosis as it evolves from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult butterfly. The creature transforms because unless it adapts, it will die. Similarly leaders must transform so their organizations may continue to thrive in dynamic conditions.

Transformation is the exclusive of complacency. Transformational leaders might experience complacency momentarily, but they fight back. Transformational leaders take actions to inspire their people and their organizations to even greater accomplishments.

The following are eight common characteristics transformational leaders share.

  1. Action Takers. Transformational leaders take action to make sure their organizations continue to thrive in dynamic environments. They aren’t complacent and they don’t go with the flow.  Transformational leaders take action to make sure their organization remains on the cutting edge.
  1. Others Focused. They focus on the needs of the organization and taking care of their most precious resources (team members). Transformational leaders create ways to align the needs of the organization with the needs of their team members.
  1. Empathetic. Life happens. People make mistakes. Kids get sick. And despite our best intentions, we sometimes fail. Instead of looking down on people about these natural life events, great leaders take a moment to see things from the other person’s point of view. Transformational leaders take a moment and vicariously experience the world from their team member’s perspective.
  1. Flexible. Change is the very core of our universe. The needs of our clients, congregations, team members, partners, and family members change daily. Change is inevitable, but not all leaders adapt. Transformational leaders remain flexible so they can facilitate necessary adaptations.
  1. Self-aware. Awareness of our own beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and actions across a variety of situations is vital. Our actions impact our team members and our organizations positively or negatively. Self-awareness allows us to understand the impact our actions have upon the team.
  1. Positive attitude. Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions work together to create the environment we want. The power of a positive attitude cannot be underestimated. Leaders with positive attitudes create and sustain positive attitudes throughout the organization. Transformational leaders look for what the positives are and use it to overcome obstacles. They turbo charge their teams performance with their positive attitude.
  1. Lead by example. Influence is the leader’s currency. It is how we affect change within our congregations, businesses, volunteer organizations, and homes. Our ability to influence is directly related to the quality of our team member relationships. If our message is “do as we say and not as we do” they cannot trust us and our ability to influence is quickly eroded until we have none. Setting the example for our employees builds trust because it is a reflection of our integrity.
  1. Take Responsibility. Leaders empower team members by delegating authority not responsibility. At the end of the day transformational leaders understand they are responsible for the collective actions of their team members. Taking responsibility allows them to learn and grow which in turns powers the entire organization to learn and grow.

In order to be the leader you were created to be, you must put these characteristics into practice. Your team desires a leader that is continually growing and adapting to the world around him. Become a student of change and lead like you’ve never led before.

In the comments below, share the characteristic that you most desire to see in yourself or someone leading you.


  • Steven Tessler

    For myself I’d say I would want #4 and #7. For where I work now I would want my leaders to have #8. That’s lacking.

    Great post!

    • coachTJTrent

      Steven,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Number 8 is a must for all leaders. I personally don’t believe leadership is possible without #7.

  • Leadership Gym – Brian

    One area I would add to this is – develop yourself continually ( be transformed). Otherwise you have nothing but stale bread to offer your followers/ supporters/ staff/ team. Self awareness is the beginning not the end.

  • Action Takers! We need to be ready to make sure our organizations are moving forward. Taking the first step can be difficult but as leaders we need to be first and show the way for the rest. Paul this is really great!

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