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From Transactional to Connected Leadership: The Evolution of Effective Leadership

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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Effective leadership can do wonders, whether it is for operational success or crisis management. Leadership has evolved since the advent of the concept. Workplaces have seen it all – from the industrial revolution when strict management was required to the modern world where managers are transforming to become leaders for the changing workforce.

According to a McKinsey report, 75% of respondents said that speaking with their leaders or upper management was the most stressful part of their daily work life. This clearly demonstrates how flawed some workplace leaderships are. Employees leave such workplaces at the first available opportunity, resulting in a never-ending hiring loop.

Favorably, new-age leadership concepts are assisting organizations in improving their culture and lowering employee attrition. So, how do organizations evolve from transactional to connected leadership? How do they climb the stairwell and reach the pinnacle of effective leadership?

Let’s explore this. But before that, let’s understand how transactional to connected leadership evolution has transpired.

How Has the Evolution from Transactional to Connected Leadership Transpired?

Max Weber, the famous sociologist who pioneered many interesting theories about organizational behavior, introduced transactional leadership. Weber believes that in order to achieve great results, the organization must work around the concept of rewards and punishment. This short-term goal exercise keeps an employee focused on delivering better results while removing the need or desire for innovation and improvement.

Connected leadership, on the other hand, is all about taking care of employees in the long run. This is done by empowering them and developing a unique relationship between leaders and their teams. The theory is a great starting point for leaders who need to work on themselves in order to drive better results from their teams.

Over time, the transition from transactional/managerial leadership to more connected leadership has happened very evidently. And in between this, psychologists, sociologists, and other experts have defined and redefined various theories, such as situational, transformational, and authentic leadership, among others. The characteristics of connected leadership are essential in the 21st-century workplace because it requires a result-oriented leader who can lead by example. 

Although many organizations have focused on becoming operationally sound, leaders are acknowledging that changes must be made in understanding how they treat their most valuable resource: employees. 

According to LinkedIn’s most recent report, one of the top training topics for managers in 2023 will be leadership and management skills. In today’s world, effective leadership is employee-centric rather than task-centric. To that end, you can evolve from transactional to connected leadership by following these simple steps:

Build Relationships

While transactional leadership focuses on getting tasks completed, connected leadership is all about the employees. Building and maintaining meaningful relationships is central to becoming an effective leader. This can be accomplished by being empathetic and connected to the workforce to be better leaders and support the team even when the winds are blowing hard.

Efficient Communication

Transactional leaders may communicate what to do and how to do it in a timely and efficient manner to the superiors as well as the team. However, today, doing it innovatively is also a necessity, and for that the workforce must be shown a better and longer vision. This can be accomplished through connected leadership, in which the leaders assist the team in visualizing the end goal and how small tasks contribute to it. An effective communicator can lead with ease because the entire team understands the expectations and end goals.

Focus on Growth and Learning

Today’s employees want to advance professionally as well as personally. The aforementioned LinkedIn report outlines that linking learning to business goals is critical for growth. Leadership is vital in not only keeping employees motivated to learn but also in bridging gaps that may arise in everyone’s learning journey and growth. Thus, upskilling employees, providing adequate resources, and fostering a learning culture can easily influence and evolve the effectiveness of current leadership.

Be Humane and Ethical

A leader is only trusted and followed when they set a good example for the team. Ethical and hardworking leaders will always have a strong team behind them. This enables them to lead with panache and quality. Furthermore, if the concerned personnel has a humane touch to their leadership, such as providing a safe space for employees and being empathetic, they can become influential leaders.

Connected leadership has grown in prominence since employee well-being is paramount. Understanding connected leadership enables a person to become a better leader for themselves and their teams. With simple yet effective leadership training, an organization can easily transition from a transactional to a connected leadership model. 

At Numly, we help enterprises create better leaders and better teams through customized learning and development experiences, by scaling internal coaching and manager-led career pathing. Connect with us to know more. 

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