Engaging Transformational Leadership

Engaging Transformational Leadership (Engaging Leadership for short) describes a range of behaviours, values and attitudes that, when adopted by a leader, maximise the performance potential of their team. Our published research shows that individuals led by Engaging Leaders experience higher levels of:

wellbeing (self-confidence, self-efficacy, reduced job-related stress)

positive attitudes to work (satisfaction, fulfilment, motivation to go the extra mile, and others)

Both of these are key to maximising organisational performance.

Successful leaders leverage extraordinary performance through simple behaviours that engage people. Those who fail to appreciate their impact on others squander talent and potential every day

Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, Founding Director

Engaging Leadership was developed as a model through the world’s largest study of the nature of leadership, conducted over three years and initially published in 2001 by Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe and Dr John Alban-Metcalfe. This original research involved over 6,500 people at all leadership levels of the private and public sectors. It has been widely extended since, to include a range of countries, as well as teams and organisational cultures.

The study was deliberately inclusive by gender, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics to ensure that, unlike typical models, it does not either discriminate against, or unfairly favour, particular types of leader.

Engaging Leadership has been uniquely shown to have a direct cause-and-effect influence on increasing team performance, through longitudinal research using objective measures of success.

Engaging Leaders not only focus on the way they interact with their direct reports, colleagues and line manager, but they also behave in ways that positively influences the effectiveness of the wider department and organisation culture, and lead across traditional boundaries. At the core, Engaging Leaders act with integrity, honesty and consistency.

There are four domains of Engaging Leadership and 14 dimensions, which together assess 98 behaviours. This is illustrated in the model above.

The Business Case for Engaging Leadership

A wide range of research by Real World Group and independent studies worldwide demonstrate that Engaging Leadership is the key to:

  • Achieving more with fewer resources
  • Reducing job-related stress
  • Increasing motivation
  • Increasing satisfaction
  • Increasing commitment
  • Increasing readiness for change and innovation
  • Greater, more sustainable performance.

The world over, resources are becoming scarcer in organisations, yet demands from customers and stakeholders are growing. Unfortunately, as more pressure to perform is placed in leaders, they tend to revert to a “command and control” style. This is a natural, but counterproductive reaction. Rather than increasing others’ capacity to achieve, actually increases stress and burnout, and reduces their ability to innovate and perform well.

Adopting an Engaging Leadership approach has the opposite effect. Engaging Leaders regularly consult their teams, eliciting ideas and suggestions, increasing individuals’ sense of worth and self-confidence to use their talents. They act in ways that demonstrate they are aware of how they can reduce, rather than increase others’ job-related stress.

They clearly articulate the organisation’s vision and help their team members see how they contribute to the vision. They build shared visions with their team and other stakeholders, so that they win peoples’ true commitment to success through engaging their hearts and minds as well as their brains and hands.

At the same time, they are highly competent people. They are decisive when required to be, resolve complex problems and communicate well. They are politically skilled, and able to influence and inspire others to create positive outcomes for both the organisation and its stakeholders.

You can read more about the research behind Engaging Leadership by downloading this report by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

There are also links to peer-reviewed articles about Engaging Leadership on our Resources page.

Enhancing Engaging Leadership in Your Organisation

Our diagnostic tools enable organisations to enhance Engaging Leadership and culture to transform performance.

From the Board to front line teams, Engaging Leadership is the philosophy and golden thread that runs through all of these. This enables you to link your development activities at different levels in a coherent and flowing pattern.

Talk to us about what your organisation needs, and we’ll be happy to assist you in fully engaging your potential.