Mike Handcock is a leadership expert, international speaker and best selling author. His company Rock Your Life is building the number one team of transformational leaders on the planet. Learn how to become one of them.
Leadership is not only the most significant measure of success in any organisation. It is the most significant measure of success for any human being. Leadership of one thing that is. Self Incorporated.
Gone are the days when our leaders are politicians, success guru’s, masters such as Branson or icons such as Mandela. Now their names are Smith, Jones, and Wong. In other words, every day Joe’s are the new transformational leaders. The new saying is one I believe in: We are the one’s we have been waiting for.
Leadership itself is not much more than managing and directing traffic, but what is true transformational leadership and how can you become a transformational leader. Strangely the first thing a transformational leader must be is self focussed. That doesn’t mean operating in ego, or putting one’s self at the head of the line all the time, but it does mean to have a strong connection and acceptance of self. Think about it. When was the last time you actually had a conversation with yourself? When was the last time you actually looked in the mirror for more than a fleeting glance?
In India my company, Rock Your Life, has sponsored a teachers training program. The idea being that if we invest in training for teachers who teach in the poor schools then we are creating impact with a significant amount of poor children and that is getting leverage. In the early days of doing this we realised the number one thing we needed to work on was self esteem. Not of the students but of the teachers. Many teachers there had little self esteem and because of that the impact on the class was huge. They were literally passing on poor self esteem.
By focussing our program on empowerment, things such as trusting self, making decisions, reinforcing positivity and rewarding self for reaching small goals every step of the way we saw a massive shift. In 2007 I visited a number of the schools and saw the impact of what we had done. Little did we know it but the children were getting great results and it was put down to a massive increase in their self esteem. You can be poor but a great self esteem can overcome many difficulties. If you have seen the wonderful movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ you will know what I mean.
Transformational Leadership is leadership with purpose and leadership with passion. When you combine strong purpose with strong passion you start operating in the area of unique ability and this stands you out from the crowd. You simply create more attraction because something is just different around you. You are so focussed and so sure that problems seem to disintegrate in front of your eyes and roadblocks to success just seem to clear.
Transformational Leadership is leadership not from the top down, but from the bottom up. Years ago when I was in the senior management team of a medium sized corporate we had a major integration to complete. In the past we had always talked to the line managers and sold them on the ideas, hoping they would sell those below them. This never really worked that well. So my counterpart and I came up with the idea to reverse it. In other words we met with the people at the lower end of the company. In fact we started with the contract cleaners (we did tell our managers what we were doing and why. They thought it was crazy but agreed.).
We figured that if the cleaner knew what their role was in our companies vision and how they fit in then they would feel part of the team. We explained how their was sensitive information regards clients and changes in the rubbish and how the cleanliness gave us a great look to any customer coming in. They really got it and from then on they did an incredible job and felt part of the team. We did the same with the new staff and the lower responsibility roles. By the time we got to management they were already ecstatic about the shift in people’s emotion about the company and the obvious increase in productivity. That year we had a 35% increase in revenue and profit.
Transformational Leadership is about purpose. It’s the big WHY behind what we do. Just ask yourself for a moment: Why am I a principal? Why did I choose this career? Chances are it won’t be to make a lot of money or have great holidays. There will be a big reason that maybe you even lost sight of for a while. Focussing back on that reason could bring everything into alignment for you. It will create impact for you and that impact will resonate with everyone around you.
Have you ever seen anyone this has happened to? They just started to do brilliantly, create attraction, get ahead, maybe promoted, even seemed to get more wise. Possibly they went through a transformation. Rarely lasting transformation is for negative reasons, such as fear of getting fired. Lasting transformation is because people have found their WHY. The reason to get out of bed with a spring in their step and a whistle on their lips and that changes everything.
It’s a shame that 99.9% of the worlds population dies without ever reaching their full human potential and equally as shameful is many people never even ponder what their potential might be. We don’t all have to be Einstein or Tiger Woods, but every single person has so much to contribute. It’s our role to become the change we seek in the world and in doing so inspire others to do the same. The truly great leaders are the people that realise they are the examples and role models for everyone around them. Didn’t you ever look up to a teacher or a sports coach or a colleague? What would need to change for you to look up to you?