Transformational leadership traits you really need

One HR leader talks to HRD about the qualities needed to successfully bring about organisational and personal change

Transformational leadership traits you really need
“Transformational leadership to me is about enabling people to achieve a purpose,” Paul Landy, chief of people and transformation at QSuper, told HC.

“People have a need to be creative and to belong; this is a fundamental part of human nature in and out of the workplace.”

True transformational leaders tap into this, Landy said, by creating positive organisations where there is a high expectation for what employees can achieve.

“They walk the walk and demonstrate to their people that they can achieve great things and get satisfaction from their work,” he said. “They are instrumental in guiding and motivating them to do this.”

There is a vital partnership between HR and the transformational leader in which the HR team creates and sets up systems which are integral to facilitating this transformation.

However, transformation in leadership cannot succeed unless the program itself is truly owned by the business, Landy added.

“HR can facilitate the process but the content, design and learning approach needs to reflect the voice of the business and be clearly aligned to the strategy of the business to be most effective.”

Because leaders often skip their own development within their hectic schedules, it is important for HR to build leadership development programs in which the content is relevant and practical application of the learned knowledge is available.

This will help leaders in their daily routines as well as prepare them for the future, he said.

With the function playing an essential role in business transformation, it is imperative that HR is established as a mutually supportive partner.

“HR teams need to spend time working with leaders in the business to better understand their individual operations and drivers.

“You need to listen broadly and take time to understand the playing field at all levels – understanding the connectivity points across the business and the big levers to pull will result in not only great results for an organisation but also for its people.”

By demonstrating to the business that the transformation process will be handled from both an employee and business perspective, the business is much more likely to support HR with all transformational goals.

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