Transformational Leadership takes the focus off what it takes to make people follow, and puts it on being the kind of person people want to follow. John Maxwell, author and lecturer on leadership, maintains, "People buy into the leader before they buy into the leader's vision. They will not voluntarily follow someone they deem unworthy of their support." Therefore the personal characteristics of a leader are critical if she/he is going to get the most out of the organization.
Every great leader:
· Has integrity; authenticity; strength of character
· Is competent
· Has vision
· Has courage; steadiness of purpose
· Is a clear communicator
· Accepts responsibility
· Leads from the front
· Sees people for what they can become, not for what they currently are
· Is resilient
The order of importance can be debated with the exception of the first characteristic. Without character, the leader has no credibility and therefore has no efficacy. Interestingly, the above characteristics are not just good leadership traits; they are also good human traits.
Transformational Leadership also incorporates the "thinking concepts" contained in Critical Thinking, which will help individuals make some personal changes to become better leaders. Steven Covey states, "It's almost axiomatic that personal change must precede organizational change." This is what Henry Blackaby says about personal change as it relates to leaders: "As leaders grow personally, they increase their capacity to lead. As they increase their capacity to lead, they enlarge the capacity of the organization to grow. Therefore, the best thing leaders can do for their organizations is to grow personally."