One word for transformational leadership is renewal. Its object is to give a business a new lease of life. The Sunday Nation (30th June 2013) inspiring business pullout profiled CEOs who lead firms that have created outstanding value for the Kenyan public rather than private or personal gain. However, every leader in a firm needs to understand the principles of renewal for the process to succeed.
In 1978, James Macgregor Burns wrote, "Transforming leadership... occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality…". Today, transformation thinking is a body of knowledge on its own. In other words, any leaders can learn and apply its principles and reap value returns. The only reason we do not have more firms being renewed is that many leaders still believe that renewal is a special gift rather than a well-thought-out process.
The eye-opening pullout also profiled the firms' achievements under the successful CEOs. This raises the question of who takes the credit for the success of corporate transformation. Is it the CEO or the leadership team? Do leaders transform organizations or is there such a thing as a transformational organization. If a leader joins a transformational organization, does that make him or her a transformational leader? When the CEO leaves, does renewal stop?
The greatest mark of a transformational leader is that renewal continues long after the leader has left office. Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi may be considered the greatest transformational leaders of last century, for the very reason that the institutions they founded continue on the strength of the moral foundations they established.
If the process of renewal can be coded and decoded, our greatest responsibility as leaders is to reproduce and multiply the remarkable benefits this type of leadership is able to provide the public everywhere. If indeed renewal can be measured, we must move speedily to put its principles into practice to serve our great nation.
There are eight simple rules to corporate transformation. It starts with the renewal of the leaders mind, focus on the customer, continually upgrading the business, aligning corporate values, installing integrity systems, developing new leaders, evolving with your customers and finally, leading the process.
The Jubilee government vision is, Transforming Kenya: Securing Kenya's prosperity. However, transforming Kenya will take more than hiring transformational CEOs to run the economy. It will take renewing the mind of every leader at every level of organization in every firm to release the benefits of renewal in society and give the Kenyan public a new lease of life.
Allan Bukusi is the author of HOW TO LEAD CORPORATE TRANSFORMATION. He can be reached on email; firstname.lastname@example.org