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We’ve all been part of transformation initiatives that took longer than expected, were more painful than anticipated or outright failed to deliver the expected value. In our experience, one of the main reasons isn’t technology or hard skill deficiencies. It’s an inability of many leaders to quickly make hard decisions, be willing to experiment and, yes, maybe even fail — in other words, to constructively lead their organizations through these transformations. Many companies may spend lavishly on large-scale transformations, but they balk at the (comparatively small) investments needed to equip their leaders to guide massive, tech-led transformation — what we call transformative leadership.
Not every leader in your company needs to be a transformative one. Look at the business units, regions or functions that can be important to successful delivery of your strategy and prioritize those leaders to build transformative skills and acumen. In a rapidly changing business environment where 40% of CEOs believe their businesses won’t be economically viable in ten years, organizations need leaders who can adapt and innovate to stay competitive and help drive business outcomes in the critical areas. CHROs can play a key role in setting and implementing the vision for building transformative leadership, and they should consider including these core skills in their leadership development initiatives.
Transformative leadership is about creating a vision, inspiring others to follow that vision and empowering them to achieve it — and doing so in the context of your company’s transformation agenda. We believe that most transformative leaders share five characteristics.
These five characteristics describe a system, and all five should be present for a transformative leader to be more effective. In fact, some of the most successful transformative leaders focus on making these part of their regular routines.
Only 46% of employees below management level think their leadership team “walks the walk” on purpose, values and culture.Source: PwC 2021 Global Culture Survey
Are you ready to foster a culture of transformative leaders? Get your teams obsessed with these critical areas.