Transformational Leadership

Be the change you want to seeFirst let me say as an MDP who has been through Transformational Leadership at the bank I highly recommend given the opportunity you take it.

Tranformational Leadership is not a course that can really be described it has to be experienced and if that is to vague or ambiguous for you, you may not want to take the course.  But if you need a little clue into what the course is all about, it is focused on looking in on situations from the balcony, experiencing situations yourself, getting to understand the perception of you from others and behaviors you can change.  It is about understanding how you work in groups and being able to take a step back and work for the common good of the team rather than just yourself.

In the real world life isn’t always going to go your way but often times if you give a little you may gain so much more.  We did an exercise that really helped to show this.  It was case study and without giving away to much, it really showed us how things work in the real world surrounding business.  There isn’t always going to be a happy medium and sometimes giving a little can benefit the overall goal and big picture more than if you had stuck with your idea.

At the end of the course we had done several exercises that talked about “the drift” and the concept of getting caught in the drift.  Before I go on, the concept of the drift to me is the idea that you are stuck in the day-to-day working to get something done and never taking a moment to look up.  Then one day you take that chance to look up and you realize you have no idea how you got where you are.  At M&T it was explained to us that it is easy to get caught in the drift.  But is the drift necessarily a bad thing? It was explained in the course that if you realize you are caught in the drift and are okay with it that is fine, the problem happens when you don’t even realize you are caught in the drift.

Some people refer to this as being stuck in cruise control and just coasting through life.  For me, being caught in the drift is not something I think anyone at this age should ever be.  I love my life but constantly being on the go and working on new things is something I value because it makes life interesting.  There is a reason that I work at M&T, coach and train for races.  I love keeping my mind active.

Do you feel like you are caught in the drift? Do you feel Be transformationallike you are so far in there is no way out? What is the answer to pulling yourself out of your current drift and will you just fall back in our into a new drift? These are fears that people have everyday, it is normal!  You just graduated school you are now getting ready to start this great adventure called LIFE and a big kid job that is scary and you may not feel like you are in a drift because everything is changing or are you? You went to school because you felt you had to, you got good grades because you felt you had to, you worked hard, you graduated, you got a job, these are all these you did because you had too (for most of you) is that a drift? Think about it, do you know how you got to where you are today and why?  If so, did you make those choices for you?

But even by the end of the class I was confused, was I caught in the drift and didn’t realize it, had I just moved myself out of the drift? I had to go and ask our SVP who was running the course for a little bit of feedback; as well as, advice.  Read about what he told me in my next post.  I will also cover how to not drift through life.

Are you Self Aware?

This past training session for MDP we spent two days going through Precision Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.  Some of us have also been going through Transformational Leadership every Friday of training but that is for another post.  The training sessions focused on hands on examples surrounding  leadership and understanding one style that the bank follows but also understanding your own personal self awareness and emotional intelligence.

So let’s talk about what the difference between all of these tools are and how you may apply them to your career:

steps to being a leaderPrecision Leadership

This form of leadership is supported very highly at the bank by our Chief Risk Officer, Rich Gold.  To me what I took away from the course was that you need to focus on giving objective feedback as a manager.  If you are constantly saying subjective things to a report or a peer who’s interpretation is right?

Let me give you an example.  If someone, age 22, fresh out of college says, I am going to be a little late to work today to their manager in an email, what does that actually mean?  How much is a little late?  The manager may think 5-10 minutes; however, that 22 year may think an hour is a little late to work.  Precision Leadership focuses on removing the subjectivity out of a statement and putting terms into more concrete understandings.

Not only does Precision Leadership work on removing the subjectivity from a statement but it also challenges the manager to put themselves into the other person’s shoes.  There is typically a positive feeling, emotion or reaction the person is feeling for doing something regardless of if we can see it or not.

Another example that was given during the course was, a manager does not understand why someone repeatedly turns work in late or comes in late to meetings.  They may see this as a negative but what are the positive feelings that employee is getting that is causing them to continuously be late to work?

below- the-surface-lies-emotional-intelligenceEmotional Intelligence

Did you know that your EI and IQ are like an iceberg? One lies above the surface and others can judge it but the majority falls below the surface and only you know its there until you show it.

It is really easy to think you know everything about yourself.  But when you think about it, the way you perceive yourself may be different from how others see you and what way do you want to appear to others?  I said above the majority of emotional intelligence lies below the surface where only you know its there but that does not stop others from judging it.

The Emotional Intelligence course was great because we had taken the self awareness “test” prior to the class so we received our actual results at the end of the course and were able to apply what we learned throughout the day regarding each category into how aware we really are.

Do you have emotional intelligenceTo me your self awareness should align with how others perceive you and if they aren’t which is more important.  When you consider this concept, you have to think about it honestly.  There is no right or wrong answer but in the real world (my personal opinion) is that how others perceive you is more important that your own self perception.  In the real world, especially starting out your young career, people are not going to want to help  you if they don’t like you or they see behaviors that they don’t appreciate.  No one is perfect but emotional intelligence and leadership can all be improved upon it just takes time and self-awareness.

Next up my experience with Transformation Leadership, you aren’t going to want to miss this.