Read Will’s first article on Transformational Leadership here.
The next facet of Transformational Leadership I would like to touch on is Intellectual Stimulation.
Intellectual Stimulation is centered upon the leader finding ways to encourage creativity in their subordinates, and fostering an environment that keeps the work center engaged and focused on a goal.
I believe that leaders can impact this process by asking themselves a few simple questions each day:
Who have you developed today?
How have you helped your subordinates improve themselves?
Are your subordinates internalizing and applying the concepts that you have taught them?
How has your mentorship lead to new and creative solutions to your work center’s problems?
These questions can serve as a type of checksum, or guideposts, for the leader who strives to build strong, innovative, and adaptive teams—while encouraging creativity and driving personal/professional development with in the work center.
Intellectual Stimulation is a by-product of the environment that the subordinates work in. If the leader builds an environment where decentralized decision-making is encouraged (i.e. an environment where followers can use their creativity and solve problems in new ways); this will lead to higher job satisfaction and increased effectiveness.
Many leaders fall into a trap of trying to control each step of a project, don’t fall in to this trap! My challenge to you is to let your teams use the innate greatness, which they have with-in them to accomplish your organizations goals. Trust them by guiding them through the process, allowing for set backs/learning opportunities to occur—ensuring that you are there for your followers to talk through the process all the while building trust/business processes that will ensure success in both the short and long-term. In my eyes, Intellectual Stimulation is the crux of Transformational leadership! This is where you as a leader look for ways to challenge your people; ways to make them uncomfortable.
This is where you look to build the traits in them that the force needs to succeed!