Transformational Leadership at Home
Updated: Mar 2
The biggest transformation happens at home- from child to adult, yet nobody talks about the leadership aspect here. Maybe the reason could be that it is an emotionally laden area and it is difficult to quantify emotions but its effects are profound.
The biggest transformation happens at home- from child to adult, yet nobody talks about the leadership aspect here. Maybe the reason could be that it is an emotionally laden area and it is difficult to quantify emotions but its effects are profound. The biggest influence in the life of a child is the family and as we grow the circle of influence grows bigger. People relax at home and as nobody is keeping a tab on our behavior at all times hence we are unguarded as compared to office scenario where we need to perform and are on guard. Since there are no defined productivity parameters or benchmarks hence home front is taken for granted and also nowhere in the education system it is quantified or stressed that it is the family which gives you the emotional stabilit yand it is equally important to make a family. I write this for all the women who make families and take out time for their loved ones so that they realize that the job that they do at home is a lot more important than they think. Parents are the ones who bring up the future leaders and transformational leadership is already existent at home and you are already a part of it. Let us see how the 4 I’s of the transformational leadership are applied at the home front:-
1.Idealized Influence (II) –“the leader serves as an ideal role model for followers; the leader "walks the talk," and is admired for this”.
A child is the follower and the parents are the leaders and children learn everything from the mother and the father and they are his role models. They see and they learn and parents say and more important is what they do is what gets copied. Those who “walk the talk” or those who say and do the same things are followed easily for example if you give a lecture to your kids on benefit of eating fruits and you only shirk from eating in front of them then they will not eat fruits. You have to say and do and the same principle applies in office. If you talk about cost cutting and continue to travel business class then nobody is going to believe you or follow you.
2.Inspirational Motivation (IM) - Transformational leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate followers.
A child is a blank paper on which we write his future. We teach the child and inspire him to move forward with a vision that one day he will realize his dream of become a doctor, engineer etc. and will be successful. Parents talk about the successful future where some successful personality or a career is talked about and that builds the child vision. Reiterated by examples and with repeated future talks parents inspire the child to have a vision for themselves for them to move forward and study hard. This vision could change as the child grows and the child but the basic concept of vision is instilled by the parents. We motivate children with appreciation, simple rewards, listening, working with him on his studies, gifts, vacations, sweets etc so that the child move forward with a smile.
Just look at an orphan child or a poor child you would see that they lack a vision of themselves because it is not cultivated to them. Vision or a goal is created in a child by his parents or his immediate influencers by reiteration which inspires the child.
Similarly in organizations we talk about the vision which is a clear definition of where we want to take the organization. We inspire and motivate people regularly to achieve that vision.
3. Individualized Consideration (IC) - Transformational leaders demonstrate genuine concern for the needs and feelings of followers. This personal attention to each follower is a key element in bringing out their very best efforts.
When children are young they require a lot of personalized attention. Everything needs to be taught from the basics as children see and hear what you say and do and they learn. A child has to be taught keeping in mind his age group and method, subject and depth of teaching varies with age group but as they grow and move ahead in formal school the amount of attention span of parents reduces and children become more independent and thereafter more of guidance is required. Similar is the case in organizations as we have trainees who need a lot of time and attention and as they grow and learn the attention span reduces.
Genuine concern for need and feelings of the followers is to be kept in mind to bring about the best efforts and that holds true both at home front as well in the organization front.
1. Intellectual Stimulation (IS) - the leader challenges followers to be innovative and creative.
Innovation at organizations is aimed to create new process, systems and products whereas for a woman who starts a family, the biggest innovation is the unique child and that has arrived. At home we innovate to create better ways to complete chores, cook and educate kids. Mothers are all the time multitasking and in a way it is a process innovation is being done to save time as there is so much to be done and little time. The daily chores might sound boring to many but are an essential task and process needs to be timed, monitored and controlled for effective outcome. Mothers all the time are cooking something new to break the monotony and that is innovation as a new product is made. We are all the time trying innovative ways to keep the child busy in recreational interests like dance, piano, sports etc that is to engage him as well as find his talents and build his team player and other skills. We use different methods of teaching which could be using technology or showing them practically the effects to clarify. (e.g. - Germination of seed is done practically to show effect of various variables). Hence innovation is used by the leaders and this in turn is followed by the followers. Although the amount of innovation used varies according to individuals, the same sets the culture for the home where kids try different things.
Transformational leadership exists at home and as parents we are already a part of the leadership process as we bring in the leaders. The emotional part or the softer part comes from the family especially the women and that is related to the soft skills which are essential while working. As the family unit disintegrates it is no wonder that the quality of leadership also gets affected as it is the family which builds a child from the scratch. For a woman the job at home is extremely important and more so if a child is involves as you are building a future leader.
Written by Mona Mehra
Work-Home Balance Speaker & Trainer