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By The Numbers

Workplace Survey, Findings

1.Workers are struggling to work effectively. 

When focus is compromised in pursuit of Collaboration, neither works well.

2. Effective workplaces balance focus and collaboration. 

Workplaces designed to enable collaboration without sacrificing employees’ ability to focus are more successful.

3. Choice drives performance and innovation. 

Employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work are seen as more innovative and have higher-performing employees.


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How Transformational leadership can Create Value and Positive Change in your Organization

A transformatioLeadershipnal leader not only challenged his people to grow professionally, but also personally — emotionally and intellectually. Working for a transformational leader can be a wonderful and uplifting experience.

The traditional or transactional leader says "I'm the leader — you're the follower; I have something you need (money) and you have something I need (labor). So let's make an exchange." Transformational leaders understand that there is something bigger at stake. They not only challenged his people to grow professionally, but also personally — emotionally and intellectually.

In effect, transformational leadership approach is defined as leadership that creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders. A transformational leader focuses on "transforming" others to help each other, to look out for each other, to be encouraging and harmonious, and to look out for the organization as a whole. With this leadership style, the leader enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower's sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance.

According to Dr. Cleve Stevens, a transformational leadership consultant, there are four non-negotiable human needs that the successful leader recognizes must be satisfied if he and his people are to succeed:

First, and arguably most important, is the need to be empathetic. It means the need to recognize others and be recognized as a person. It sounds obvious, but people who are not both receiving and giving recognition — and by recognition we mean an empathetic feeling and a focused concern and action directed at another exclusively for that person's good — cannot be fully healthy, biologically and psychologically. We usually think of empathy as beyond the pale in the work-a-day world, but the transformational leader vividly understands that tough-minded caring is essential to leading and developing a powerful, fully expressed workforce.

Second is the need to grow. The only alternative to growth is death and decay. The transformational leader recognizes that stasis, or maintenance, is a myth that only exists in the human imagination. Nowhere in nature do we find such a thing as stability. Even in a balanced ecosystem, there is either expansive, unfolding growth, or degeneration, decay and ultimately death. By creating a culture that allows our people, and ourselves, to grow, we are expanding our capacities as leaders, as employees, and as human beings.

Third is the need to contribute. Like a battery, this need is best understood when we think of it as having two distinct poles. The negative pole reminds us that which does not contribute is eliminated. We see it in nature all the time, and at a primal, pre-conscious level we all seem to know this fundamental fact. Failing to contribute in a significant way yields a gnawing, just-beneath-the-surface anxiety of which we are usually only vaguely aware. The other pole, the positive one, answers this anxiety. When we are contributing in a significant way we have an inexplicable peace of mind. We know we belong. The simple principle at work here goes something like this: life works when we forget about ourselves and contribute to others. To feel fulfilled and empowered, employees must know they are contributing to the whole.

The fourth and final need to be met for full leadership, effectiveness and happiness, is the need for meaning. We are meaning-seeking creatures. If our lives lack a clear sense of meaning, if we are not engaged in some larger purpose, we will not be fully satisfied, regardless of whatever else we may have.

The transformational leader understands that satisfying all four of these needs may not be easy, but when they are being met in the day-to-day affairs of his or her people, something magnificent begins to emerge: people instinctively play a bigger game, and show up in a more passionate, creative, engaged and effective way. The consequences are difficult to argue with — hard, measurable, and in many instances, astonishing results.

Have you ever worked for or known a leader who addressed any of these human needs? Did his or her leadership style improve the performance of your organization?