My journey into leadership….
My journey into leadership….
Why Transformational Leadership is the panacea to becoming an amazing leader!
My leadership journey commenced in my early 20’s. I was young and vibrant, hardworking and a good leader. Well, that’s what I thought then! Hindsight is a very powerful tool…
Moving forward, even if you possess leadership skills, you need to reflect and aspire to be an even better leader. A leader empowers and inspires others to reach their goals and become leaders themselves.
Fast forward 21 years, many opportunities for reflection and practice, being a leader means being humble in situations. By demonstrating humbleness, you learn how to gain a better understanding of different perspectives without taking things at a personal level. This has come through experience for me and has assisted me to grow as a leader.
I remember years ago when I first started leading a team, I had received a letter from a staff member that had outlined all the ‘wrong’ things that I was doing in my role.
I was very upset and was taking it personally until I had a wonderful conversation with my mentor. She told me, ‘these situations will happen when you are a leader, it is the way that you handle the situation that will show the team what kind of leader you truly are’.
This was the panacea in my leadership role, it made me understand that I had to be part of the solution if I wanted to see the change! And that meant turning transformational leadership into practice! “Transformational theory focuses on how leaders inspire people with shared values and goals and vision. They use their personal enthusiasm, energy, drive and ethics and commitment to generate trust and willingness to follow.” Rodd, J. 2013 pg: 47
The next day I arrived back at work with even more gusto than the day before, gathered my team together and said “Ok- what are the things you feel that need to improve?”. I focused on the environment, not individual people. Surprisingly, the team communicated their concerns or their view on improvements and we set to work, making a timeline and working through the areas – together. I lead them to where they needed to be and it made the team even stronger. We communicated better and communicated immediately if we were faced with a concern, rather than pushing the blame onto another.
Simon Sinek (a motivational speaker) during his TED TALK presentation ‘How great leaders inspire action’ says ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.
This sentence has been inspiring me for years. I have chosen this path as my career as it is allowing me to make positive changes in the Early Childhood Industry. When I am mentoring clients, I am being authentic in my leadership style and this assists engagement, building a relationship and ensuring they achieve the desired outcome from their session/workshop.
I pride myself on matching the theory in the textbooks with my 21 years of experience, anyone can read a book, but it takes someone special to make those words come to life. I am an advocate for Early Childhood and this is the reason that I chose to pursue this career, if you want to see the change, be it.
Practising the levels three levels of critical reflection has allowed me to be resilient with changes and not give an answer immediately without knowing and other information. It has given me the ability to stop reacting emotionally and rather the ability to elaborate and reconstruct, and this gives me a better answer. If you want to know about this read the article ‘Critical Reflection- by Melinda Miller’.
I have had many roles that require team participation, and to be a successful team is to have ‘growth mindset’, this was something that had to be taught to many team members and I was able to take leadership and be responsible for the change.
In conclusion, if you want to succeed as a leader, try the Transformational Leader theory. It encompasses that;
- Transformational leaders are authentic in their practice
- Transformational leaders are able to identify a change and work together with their team to achieve it
- Leadership doesn’t ‘just happen’. I am continually reflecting on my practices as a leader and how I can achieve even better outcomes for my customers. It is about being humble and keeping up with the changes in the industry. Just as we get a ‘grasp’ on one change, they throw another in just for fun. (I believe it’s because early childhood educators are so resilient with change and they wouldn’t think of doing that to any other sector).
Rodd, J. (2013) Leadership in Early Childhood. The pathway to professionalism. Allen and Unwin Australia