Transformational Leadership Traits: Create Leaders


Build Leaders Within Teams


“None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Old Southern traditional saying


The Transformational Leader creates a leadership system within organizations and builds teams of leaders. This might seem to be contrary to the usual definition of leadership. It would seem that the leader must have followers. Certainly that is true. However, there are other dynamics of leadership as well. A person can be a thought leader, a trend setter, a facilitator of process, and an influencer of other people in many ways that do not show up as “following.”

Leaders get things done.

Leaders know how things get done.

Leaders influence others.

The Transformational Leader influences others with personal integrity and skill, not by power and position.

Leadership as a system can be installed into any organization. This installation begins with the visionary leader developing an understanding of Transformational Leadership as a preferred style of leadership, and then teaching it to others in their sphere of influence. Everyone in that sphere of influence shows up as a leader. They can lead a process, be responsible for an action plan, create documents for team use, and perform many other functions as a contributor to the team.

All too often, team members are looking for instructions on how to proceed. The goals and action plans provide the context for the work. The Transformational Leader then facilitates the process, providing nurture and information as needed. Think of the orchestral conductor. The conductor guides the music-making and makes corrections as needed. The conductor does not play the instruments. The result is the creation of great music, because everyone is engaged, everyone performs up to the highest standard, everyone is responsible for their own performance, everyone respects the culture and the context of the orchestra – everyone shows up as a leader within the defined system.

The conductor is sometime perceived as a dictator, however, the conductor is totally at the mercy of the players. Creating respect and influencing the musicians to perform at the highest standard is the duty of the conductor.

In non-musical settings, the same dynamic applies: create the culture where each team member understands their individual and collective roles as participants, in creating harmony and synergy that cannot be created by any one person alone.

Perceiving ourselves in the role is first. Fulfilling the role is next. The responsibility of the Transformational Leader is to transform – ideas into reality, team members into leaders, organizations into effective organizations and, ultimately, ourselves.

As leaders function on a higher level, team members respond in a similar manner. The responsibility is to notice what’s happening and guide the process. This rule #3 must follow rule #1, clarity of vision. The orchestra cannot perform without the music. Each of my 10 Transformational Leadership traits is independent and interdependent. The principles must all be present and connected.

The difference is between leadership and management. See Michael Hyatt’s post on his interview with Seth Godin HERE.

What is the biggest challenge that you see in building leaders on your teams?

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2012 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Hugh Ballou (Author)