Leadership shift: From traditional to transformational

Many companies in our region have admitted that the leadership styles of the past don’t allow them to remain competitive or retain quality talent. What changes are they embracing? They’re moving past servant leadership and becoming transformational leaders.

Here are six ways that the most innovative and impactful companies are leading. And, good news, these changes won’t take years to learn or waste money.

Shift from meetings to briefings.

The most innovative companies admitted years ago that meetings waste time and undermine effectiveness. Instead of meetings, try briefings to keep everyone updated and on-track. Briefings can happen by email, phone or any virtual platform.

Shift from micromanagement to empowerment.

Keeping track of every step of a project or an employee will keep you in busy-mode and make projects last longer than necessary. Life-long micro-managers will struggle with this, but you must learn to trust your team.

Your job as a leader is to select the best talent and communicate what needs to be accomplished. If you do that well, then it should be easy to trust them and let them do what they do well.

Shift from hiring employees to attracting top talent.

A common mistake is to hire only when a position is open. If you want to exceed expectations, you’ll need exceptional team members. They don’t usually come from an online ad. Always be on the lookout for top talent, so you’ll know exactly who to call when a position becomes open.

Shift from divisive dysfunction to a team mentality.

The CFO disagrees with the CMO. AGAIN. Instead of spending your time refereeing their arguments, impress upon them that the company needs financial responsibility and effective marketing. Instead of focusing only on what they want, they need to agree on the needs of the company first.

Shift from “no comment” to embracing the media.

Traditional companies avoid publicity and resist answering difficult questions from the media. When you learn to embrace all forms of publicity and create a community relations plan, your brand can become widely respected and admired.

Shift from being rigid to realistic.

Today’s employees value their personal time, families and community commitments as much as they value their salaries. Don’t expect them to reply to texts, emails or drama after hours or on weekends. Get your work done during the work day and this won’t be an issue.


Sometimes the most powerful changes can be created with simple shifts. Any one of these strategies can transform your company. Which will you embrace?


Beth Caldwell is the founder of Leadership Academy for Women and the author of the book Smart Leadership. She’s not afraid to tackle the tough choices that come with being an influential leader. Beth works with companies and organizations to confront conflict, deal with drama and make important decisions.