Why Transformational Leaders Make the Best Mentors Ever

This article elucidates the top reasons why transformational leaders are ideal for mentoring roles.

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“The ultimate test of a transformational leader is the ability to raise up a new generation of leaders” - Jim Louwsma

In the contemporary business world, the culture of mentorship is gaining massive traction. Modern employers are quite happy to act as mentors for driving effective professional development and confidence among their employees. After all, organisations are only as good as their people and this human capital needs to be enriched in an incremental way. For that, a large number of business enterprises are subscribing to mentorship programs.

To elucidate, among the saga of paradigm changes transpiring in the corporate world, mentorship programs are replacing conventional classroom training modules. In fact, mentoring arrangements work amazingly well in blurring the lines between bosses and subordinates to create positive relationships for inclusive learning. This explains why even large enterprises like Google or Microsoft have mentoring programs.

The question is, do all mentorship programs prove to be equally effective and successful in adding to organisational success? Do all leaders prove to be perfect mentors? Well, the answer is quite simple, the finest of leaders make great mentors. This is where transformational leaders come into the picture. Transformational leaders come with great traits that make them a perfect choice for mentorship roles.

This article elucidates the top reasons why transformational leaders are ideal for mentoring roles. On the other side of this article, you will certainly be convinced that if you wish to excel as a mentor, it is vital that you work on acquiring the attributes of a transformational leader. So, let us get started without further ado.

Traits of Transformational Leaders That Make Them Great Mentors

1. They Have an Extraordinary Vision

An exceptional trait of transformational leaders is that they manifest an extraordinary vision. Their vision coupled with their unique ability to intellectually stimulate perspectives makes them extraordinary mentors. To explain, in mentor-mentee arrangements, it is vital that mentees are highly impressed by their mentors. For mentorship programs to be successful, mentees should be able to view their mentors as perfect role models.

Having said that, when mentors come across as bright, meticulous, and charming, mentees feel genuinely obliged to learn with greater diligence. Why would someone not want to learn from mentors who manifest distinguished intellect? This is where transformational leaders stand out from the crowd. Besides, this is why most people today want to be like Elon Musk given his capabilities as a transformational leader.

As a transformational leader, you can be a great mentor who can effortlessly cultivate a natural environment for knowledge sharing and intellectual stimulation. For any organisation, such an environment could well be the perfect foundation for gaining competitive advantages.

Moreover, given their strong vision, transformational leaders can effectively assist in helping their mentees set reasonable and measurable goals. Everything that transformational leaders do is backed by vision and mentees can acquire the same attitude from them.

While working with transformational leaders employees will learn to value the need for a long-term vision behind every action. Besides, they will also learn the art of visualising the outcomes of their decisions or actions. This is where transformational leadership can make such a huge difference in mentoring success.

2. They Foster Greater Curiosity

Do you think active learning can thrive without a great zeal or curiosity to learn? As a leader, when you look to share your knowledge and expertise with your team, you also need to win their curiosity. When your team members are curious to learn, they will even go the extra mile to learn.

Having said that, with the traits of a transformational leader, you can foster greater curiosity among your employees. To elucidate, transformational leaders lay great emphasis on learning and self-improvement. Transformational leaders are genuinely interested in adding value to their followers’ personal development and they exhibit great optimism in this pursuit.

All in all, transformational leaders promote the idea of growth mindsets among their followers or team members. Transformational leaders convince people around them to believe that with consistent hard work and learning, outcomes can be optimised. This is exactly why they make excellent mentors. They foster greater curiosity around the idea of mentorship in the workplace and that helps employees to align with the learning objectives in a proactive way.

3. They Empower Their Mentees

What do you think is the foundation of mentor-mentee relationships? Do you think effective knowledge sharing in itself is enough for mentorship programs to succeed? Well, in mentoring programs, trust is as important as knowledge-sharing arrangements. When there is high trust in mentor-mentee relationships, positive outcomes flourish.

However, do you think that all leaders pay heed to the need for trust build? Do you think all mentors look at the significance of trust in mentoring relationships? All leaders may not feel the need to cultivate trust but transformational leaders do for sure.

To explain, transformational leaders empower their people by showing great faith in their abilities and delegate authority to their followers. So, when transformational leaders step into the shoes of mentors, they will look to empower their mentees through delegation. Not only will delegation help in fostering higher trust but will also give a hands-on learning experience to mentees as they explore new responsibilities.

In fact, it is concerning to learn that as per a Harvard Business Review study featured by One Model, around 69 percent of employees trust strangers more than their own bosses. Isn’t this quite discouraging and demotivating for leaders? However, it is also true that most leaders fail to win the trust of their employees to get the best out of them. Especially when it comes to mentoring roles, trust is the basis of everything and that is transformational leaders make the best mentors.

4. They Inspire Innovation

Transformational leaders have a great knack for innovation and they back the same with their decent risk-taking abilities. They always look to transform things for the better and they are ready to deal with the uncertainty that exists around the idea of trying new things. That is exactly the kind of attitude you want to promote among your workforce, isn’t it?

Speaking of mentorship programs, every mentorship program is aligned with certain objectives of skill development, personal development, or professional development. In either case, you want to give your team members the opportunity to explore their interests, think outside the box, and find creative ways to deal with problems. After all, which organisation does not love the idea of having a highly innovative workforce?

So, when transformational leaders become mentors, they will inspire enormous innovation among their mentees. They will lead by example in the pursuit of being innovative and creative for their mentees to learn from their charming personas. Further, as mentors, they will help their subordinates in overcoming the resistance to risk-taking or experimenting to find modern solutions to modern problems.

In this way, they can bring out the best innovation and creativity in their mentees as they will encourage them at every step to take an unconventionally innovative approach. They will give them greater confidence to embrace innovation rather than discourage it. Transformational leaders inspire creativity and innovation quite naturally which can add immense value to an organisation.

5. They Know the Art of Engagement

As a mentor, you want all your mentees to show great engagement and enthusiasm in the learning process. It does take a lot of effort to create thoughtful mentorship programs and then if your employees do not participate with all their hearts, it is fair to feel discouraged. However, the fact of the matter is that engaging everyone in a worthwhile way is an art not everyone knows.

Speaking of transformational leaders, they know the art of facilitating active participation for sure. Because transformational leaders lead from the front and inspire greater confidence among their followers, they motivate others to take initiative or participate. This is yet another reason why transformational leaders are successful mentors.

They do not believe in being a boss all the time. On most days, transformational leaders would want to be looked at as coaches who are determined to bring out the best in their followers. So, when it comes to mentoring programs, the greater the participation rate the higher the success. Having said that, for mentorship programs to accomplish the desired results, transformational leaders are the best picks for mentoring roles.

6. They Are Excellent Communicators

On a scale of 10, how important do you think it is for mentors to be great communicators? From persuasive verbal communication skills to active listening skills, mentors need it all. Having said that, exceptional mentors are those who also happen to be exceptional communicators. For mentees to acquire effective knowledge through their discussions with mentors, it is vital that mentors know the art of communicating.

Otherwise, the communication gaps or inefficiencies in communication will take a lot away from the success of even the best fit mentorship programs. The idea of mentorship programs is that employees should acquire first-hand knowledge from the experience and expertise of their mentors.

Besides, as inspirational leaders, mentors also need to recapture the motivation of their mentees whenever they feel the morale levels are receding. For that, as a mentor, you need to step into the shoes of a great orator often and that is where communication skills are salient. Moreover, you also need to portray persuasive communication skills to make your employees believe in the process rather than the results or to convince them to take initiative.

Probing further, to be a great mentor, you also need active listening skills so that you can understand what your mentees are going through. In addition to that, you also need the right blend of communication and empathy to promote psychological safety in the workplace. Lastly, your effectiveness as a communicator will also determine the success rate of collaborative learning under mentoring programs.

7. They Believe In Incremental Growth

Some leaders look at the idea of growth as being absolute. Such leaders expect their employees to learn everything overnight and focus solely on the outcomes. This could indeed be one of the common mentoring mistakes made by most leaders. On the contrary, some leaders believe in the process and perceive the idea of growth as being incremental. The latter make far better mentors as they do not believe in rushing with learning objectives or the idea of individual development.

Simply put, these are the traits of a fine transformational leader. For them, the idea of transforming and the process of transformation are more important. They give enough time to their team members to embrace the process and show incremental growth rather than chasing the idea of absolute growth blindly. Ideally speaking, that is exactly how mentors should be.

To encapsulate, at the end of the day, mentorship programs prove to be only as effective as mentors at the helm of things. Great mentors lead to great outcomes hence, making mentoring programs enormously successful. As reiterated above, it takes a lot to be a great mentor, it takes transformational leadership attributes to be a great mentor.

Author Bio

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life." Wayne Dyer's thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at The Speakingnerd. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.

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