In his book, Peter Finckler describes traditional approaches to leadership. He denounces the fact that it is still standard in many companies for managers to be promoted primarily because of their specialist knowledge. He points out that leadership is unlikely to be successful in the future. In the future, managers will be able to think holistically and find their way in permanent changes.

“Management by techniques” and the focus on growth and profit maximization will no longer be sufficient to be successful in the long term. What is needed today are leadership concepts that promote personal development – that are geared to long-term and overarching goals rather than short-term successes.

Transformational Leadership

Successful companies today and probably also in the future are characterized by a special value orientation of their employees and by a culture that promotes self-organizing structures and thus the room for maneuver of the actors. As examples of successful companies in which this form of leadership is lived, the author mentions: Würth, Toyota or 3M.
Transformation leadership focuses on the transformation of corporate culture and emphasizes the human factor of togetherness. Employees should treat their managers with admiration, loyalty, respect and trust and, as a result, achieve above-average performance.

Are the basic principles of Transformational Leadership:

The principles of transactional management according to MacGregor Burns:

  • Promoting personal responsibility
  • Conditional reward (reward for achievement of objectives; the manager willingly supports)
  • Management in exceptional cases: The manager intervenes only in the event of rule violations and deviations from agreed targets.

Additional principles:

  • The manager acts as a role model, exemplifies the required performance. The manager draws and conveys positive images of future developments and tries to inspire employees.
  • Creative and innovative thinking and behaviour when solving problems is supported, making mistakes is expressly permitted.
  • Dealing with each other is based on openness, fairness and mutual respect. Arguments are based on the planned results and not on personal agendas.
  • Managers are open to change and consistently implement appropriate initiatives.
  • Leadership authority is legitimized by the focus on goals.

In order to achieve the goals of transformational leadership, companies create suitable framework conditions for talent management in which the competencies relevant to this form of leadership can be developed. On the one hand, the “right” people are sought; on the other hand, it is above all the top management who exemplifies that the focus is on employee development.

Changes in corporate culture cannot be achieved by instruction. A change in values will result solely from the self-development of the actors involved. This requires a clear vision on the part of the management and the ability to communicate this vision and, above all, to set an example.

Organizations that want to make transformational leadership possible master five skills (“disciplines”) that Peter Senge, a former researcher at MIT, considers indispensable for any organizational development:

  1. Personnel Mastery
  2. Mental Models
  3. Shared visioning
  4. Team learning
  5. Systems Thinking

In order to establish talent development with the goal of transformational leadership behavior, learning processes take place that enable transformation. They should be oriented to the core competencies that will make leadership successful in the future:

  • Process competence
  • Communication competence
  • Flexibility and Diversity

The central prerequisite for such learning processes to be successful is knowledge of how people’s ego development takes place. If all this takes place successfully, the “new” managers can lead and have desire for it. You want to learn and also develop yourself further.

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