So, what is required of a transformational leader? What is it that a leader like this does, and who do we need to be in order to cause that kind of transformational leadership?
Creating Results That Are Outside of What is Already Known
First up, a transformational leader is responsible for creating results that are outside of what is already known and already predictable.
To lead this way is to do more than maintain the status quo, and continue to generate the same kind of results we are already reliable to generate. This means that transformational leaders aim for goals bigger than more of the same.
This approach to goal setting (whether it’s for a company, a team, or yourself) means aiming towards something that is more than “10% more than we did this past year”.
If I am reliable enough to spend four hours a night studying for my undergraduate degree, it’s unlikely that stepping into studying six hours a night is going to represent much of an unpredictable result. In order to achieve this result, I need only do what I’m reliable to do, but more efficiently.
These kinds of results don’t exist in the vast unknown for us. They exist in the realm of “I’m not yet achieving them, but I know how to.” To achieve these kinds of results, what is required of us is to manage ourselves, double-down on the strategies and patterns that have brought us here, and turn them up a little higher. In summary, to achieve these kinds of results, we need simply work better, harder, faster and stronger.
Results outside of what is already known are unpredictable. Unpredictable results are results that we do not know how to achieve. In fact, from where we currently stand, and based on the strategies we have used to get here, unpredictable results occur as impossible.
These results are not physically impossible — they are simply impossible given the patterns, habits, strategies and rules we have for the way things are done.
If you are working sixty hours a week in order to make $120,000 a year, a predictable result would be to start working thirty hours a week and making $60,000 a year. This result is not what you are currently doing, and you may need to make some adjustments to achieve it. But this kind of result is entirely within your control and what is predictable for you.
An unpredictable result — an impossible result — would be something like reducing the number of hours you work a week to thirty, while simultaneously doubling the amount of income you make each year.
This is the kind of result a transformational leader aims towards, and creates, and stands in stark contrast to predictable results.
In order to achieve an impossible result, the leader, and their company or team, will necessarily need to create breakthroughs and transformation, by virtue of the fact that result is impossible from the lens of the current paradigm.