Creating a culture of change


Using transformational leadership to navigate business disruptions and build a winning team


In today’s rapidly evolving, post-pandemic business ecosystem – itself characterized by constant disruptions, globalization, and heightened expectations of customers – transformational leadership is crucial to lead companies through these challenges, move away from mediocrity to meritocracy, and adopt new approached to achieve sustained business growth and service excellence.

Transformational leadership has emerged as a powerful approach to inspire and motivate teams to harness the true potentials of their people and adapt to changing circumstances, while driving innovation, transformation, and excellence. Transformational leadership has been shown to be an effective way to improve organizational performance. Studies have shown transformational leadership can lead to increased employee satisfaction and productivity, as well as innovation and customer service excellence. And, transformational leaders are stewards of a higher purpose beyond maximizing shareholder value – a concept that’s gaining traction in the business world.

Transformational leaders lead by example, and they inspire, engage, collaborate, and instill a deeper sense of purpose to guide a company’s strategic decisions and shape the work culture, while motivating their employees to achieve great things – even in the face of adversity –and creating new sources of revenues streams.

Influential leaders capitalize on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), incorporating different perspective and voices, boosting the collective competencies of the team to transcend its current business positioning, performance, and capabilities. The authentic, inspiring leaders have visionary thinking, are capable of tackling complex problems, and can create a culture of innovation, creativity, and change, all of which are essential for any business to success in today’s dynamic economy.

Transformational leaders marshal their resources, talents, and collective team strengths by engaging and empowering their ever-appreciative assets – the human capital at their disposal.

This approach can inspire and motivate team members to achieve more than they thought possible and is based on the idea leaders can create change by appealing to team members’ values and emotions, rather than just their rational self-interest. Successful transformation requires harnessing the leadership team’s and organization’s collective intelligence, energy, and experience, while shaping the future-focused journey of their organizations.

Here are nine key characteristics of transformational leaders and how they navigate the new era of technological disruptions and constantly changing business dynamics.

Visionary thinking
Transformational leaders possess a clear and compelling vision of the future. They can articulate this vision to their teams, helping employees understand the purpose and direction of the organization. By communicating the “big picture,” they inspire their teams to think beyond the present challenges and embrace change as an opportunity for growth and advancement.

Inspirational motivation
Inspirational motivators can articulate a clear vision for the future and rally their team members around it. They use their communication skills to motivate and excite their teams, and they create a sense of shared purpose. Transformational leaders are well respected but, more importantly, take deliberate, thoughtful steps to show respect for their employees.

Strategic communications
Transformational leaders possess exceptional communication skills, enabling them to inspire, empower, and motivate their teams. They create a conducive and collaborative work environment by fostering a culture of collaboration, mutual trust, and respect. They can get team buy-in through connecting with distributed teams through virtual leadership, while giving and receiving direct feedback. Through their own enthusiasm and passion, they ignite a sense of purpose and commitment among employees, encouraging them to go above and beyond their ordinary capabilities.

Intellectual stimulation
Transformational leaders are adept at promoting innovation and creativity within their teams. Such leaders challenge team members to think outside the box and come up with new ideas, innovating and finding new ways of working. They encourage their employees to be creative, agile, and innovative, and they help them to see the world in new ways. By providing new opportunities for personal and professional growth, these leaders empower their teams to unleash their full potential. They foster a continuous learning culture where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities, enabling individuals to take calculated risks and experiment with new approaches.

Individualized consideration
Transformational leaders recognize the unique strengths and abilities of each team member. They establish personal connections, demonstrating genuine concern for their employees’ well-being and development. Through mentorship, coaching, and regular feedback, they support individuals in their professional growth, helping them overcome challenges and maximize their contributions to the organization. This personalized approach creates a sense of belonging and loyalty among team members.

Adaptability and resilience
In the new era of business dynamics and globalization, transformational leaders marshal their HR talents by being humane, empathetic, adaptable, and resilient. They navigate through uncertainties and disruptions with a calm demeanor, demonstrating the ability to swiftly make informed decisions. By embracing change and encouraging their teams to adopt and embrace change, they foster a culture of agility, creativity, innovation, and change – thus enabling the organization to act proactively instead of reactively.

Idealized influence
Influential leaders are maestros of human emotions, harnessing them to help their teams succeed. They set a strong example for their team members and behave in ways that are consistent with the values, mission, vision, and business principles of the organization. They lead their organizations through disruptions and achieve sustained excellence. They accomplish this by creating a culture of innovation and creativity, and by inspiring their teams to achieve great things.

Strategic alliance builders
In the era of globalization, transformational leaders recognize the importance of strategic alliances and partnerships. They cultivate relationships with stakeholders, both within and outside the organization, to leverage expertise, resources, and opportunities. By building a robust network, they broaden the organization’s reach and adapt to the interconnected nature of the global business landscape.

Provide autonomy and accountability
Grant employees the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Set clear expectations and hold individuals accountable for their actions, while providing support and guidance when needed.

Transformational leadership is essential for organizations to navigate disruptions and achieve sustained excellence in the new age of globalization. By embracing visionary thinking, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, adaptability, diversity, inclusion, and building strategic alliances, leaders can engage, empower, and elicit the best from their teams. Through their transformative leadership style, they create resilient organizations that will thrive amidst change and uncertainty, ensuring a brighter future in the dynamic world of business.

How to engage, empower, and get the best out of teams

  • Be a catalyst for change: Transformational leaders are champions of change, with the goal of engaging, empowering, and getting the best out of their teams by embracing new possibilities.
  • Be agile: Transformational leaders need to be able to think and act quickly to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Be collaborative: Transformational leaders need to be able to build strong relationships with their team members and with other stakeholders to achieve their goals.
  • Be authentic: Transformational leaders need to be genuine and trustworthy to inspire their teams.
  • Be a servant leader: Servant leaders are focused on helping their team members develop and grow, and they put the organization and others’ needs before their own for the good of the team.
  • Be a visionary: Articulate a clear vision for the future, which team members can rally around.
  • Lead by example: Embody the values and behaviors expected from team members by acting with integrity, demonstrating resilience, and remaining adaptable in the face of challenges.
  • Foster open communication: Communicate effectively with team members, encouraging open and transparent communication channels to ensure everyone feels heard and valued, and emphasize active listening to promote two-way dialogue.
  • Promote work life balance: Work to safeguard their people’s personal health, relationships, and well-being so they are in a good position to reflect and think instead of feeling overwhelmed or distracted.
  • Empower teams: Equip team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Lead from the heart: Spark interest in people to understand their minds, while also being aware of the challenges, hopes, and aspirations of others. Leaders should be behavioral experts, thinking about people’s deep emotions, body language and facial expressions, which manifest in outer behaviors and actions, harnessing these for the organization’s betterment.
  • Invest in continuous learning: Promote a culture of continuous learning and development, providing opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to keep pace with the changing business landscape.
  • Recognize and celebrate champions: Acknowledge and reward exceptional performance and achievements. Celebrate milestones and successes to boost morale and foster a positive work environment. They create a team environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and motivated to do their best work.

Mahendra S. Rathore, MBA, BA (Honors), CHA® CHE® FHCIMA® CTC® CTA® CFP® PMP®, is a former hospitality industry professional having managed luxury, upscale, and extended stay properties. He is a hospitality, investments, and asset-management transformation leader and a subject matter expert with more than 22 years of global experience with fortune 200 companies and leading industry players across the hotels, resorts, and cruise lines, as well as travel and tourism, and wildlife and ecotourism segments. Through his extensive experience in working with leading hotels chains like Taj Group, Marriott, Hilton, and Historic Palace Hotels and Resorts – along with management consulting with the leading industry planers top innovators and disruptors – his keen insights and expertise enable diverse experiences through all lenses of business. Mahendra offers a unique practical experience to help hotel owners to adapt to new challenges, emerging trends, and emerging nuances in hospitality and asset management businesses. He can be reached at (980)318-9327 or by email at [email protected].



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