Transitional Leadership: Key Considerations for Success

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A transitional state may refer to a new leader himself or herself, an organisation that is new to the leader, or an organisation that is changing. Whether leaders or their organisations are in transition, certain principles and considerations are supported by the leadership body of knowledge, according to an article published in the journal Academic Radiology.

"These considerations include introspection and thought, information gathering and analysis, and an understanding of group psychology and effective communication and engagement," writes author Dr. Alexander Norbash, UC San Diego, School of Medicine. "These tasks and approaches can be integrated into a series of actions timed far in advance of seeking a leadership role, during the assessment phase, soon after assuming a new role, and for long-term security in a new leadership role.”

He explains that introspection and thought is necessary to honestly self-assess one’s skills and disposition. In the article, Dr. Norbash also enumerates the important traits and characteristics of a successful leader.

Integrity, outstanding communication skills, self-awareness, and focus are highly valued in leaders. Effective leaders provide increasing autonomy to frontline managers, carefully considering hierarchy and structure, while maximising information gathering and processing. Effective and strategic leaders and organisations pool and leverage distinctive competencies to the greatest degree possible, according to the article.

Successful leaders accept responsibilities for their failures. The denial of fallibility or fault by a leader can only adversely affect the perception the organisation has of the leader. Denial of fallibility ultimately contributes to a dysfunctional culture of unfairness and finger-pointing, the author says.

Understanding Groups and Engaging Effectively

If the transitional leader identifies with or aligns too closely with management, they risk losing effective connection with their charges. Alternatively, if the transitional leader is identified too closely with their employees, then they may lose the confidence of their employers. Effective positioning demands determination of a safe and successful middle ground.

When a transformation is taking place, changes can be accelerated and better tolerated where employees perceive their voice in such transformations. Employee participation at an early phase, including employee participation in charting strategy, helps to accelerate change and secure a greater degree of stability once crises are resolved.

"To have ongoing support for their decisions, to effectively engage their employees, and to mobilise the actions necessary to achieve their goals, leaders have to earn the trust of their employees," the author notes. "Employees expect fair and appreciative work environments, and expect to have their voices heard.” The ability to transactionally satisfy all essential stakeholders and employees is a mark of an effective leader.

He concludes: "Successful transitional leaders appreciate that they are empowered and validated by their employees, and that the professional fulfilment of their employees is of paramount importance to their own security and success."

Source: Academic Radiology
Image Credit: Pixabay

References:

Norbash, Alexander. (2017) Transitional Leadership. Academic Radiology. doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2017.01.005.

Published on : Tue, 13 Jun 2017



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