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Main Street: March 13, 2019

March 14, 2019 GMT

Dr. Don Daake and I have been writing our Main Street column for almost 10 years. Collectively, we have each written more than 300 articles ranging from leadership, ethics, marketing, strategy, diamond organizations, organizational culture, customer service and personal interest stories.

These columns reflect on salient issues and how to advance your own professional leadership practice.

As such, we always are asked where do we get our ideas for our column? It is easy, we always are reading the relevant literature as scholars, professors and leaders in our own respective domains. Additionally, we have an abundance of stories to be told from an organizational, leadership and ethical perspective.


Recently, I experienced another transformational experience at Riverside Health Fitness Center where I work out. A woman whom I am an acquaintance with, came up to me and asked if I wrote the Main Street column?

I replied in the affirmative, and she proceeded to tell me her husband passed away from a unique form of brain cancer last April. Then she told me how much I meant to her husband, as I always talked to him and he enjoyed our conversations and my column. I thanked her for sharing, and then reflected on the experience.

In spite of the awful circumstances in which I found out that I had an impact on someone else’s life, I realized that we need to take the time to thank people for having an impact on us: whether as a friend, an acquaintance or as a professional. These impactful events become transformational. We do, indeed, impact others around us consciously or unconsciously.

Gratitude should become a habit and not an obligation. Thank those people who have had a significant impact in your life: friends, co-workers, teachers, clergy or others with whom you interact, no matter how brief the interaction.

From this perspective, and one worth noting, an interesting article was written by Peter Economy, titled, “5 Transformational Habits That Create High-Impact Leadership.”

I will highlight his salient points and then comment in parentheses on how to add this to your leadership domain. Economy states, “You are unique. Make that uniqueness your drive to become a leader who stands out from the crowd.”

1. Establish a unique leadership style: (Define your purpose and then enhance it with your passion. Leadership is about dealing with the ebbs and flows of the external forces and internal relationships. Reflect on your own personal strengths and knowledge, and then capitalize and subsidize them with your character, integrity and your specific talents. Your personal uniqueness will become the driver to become an impactful and transformational leader.)


2. Serve with your mind and heart: (Transformational leaders realize that leading others is a gift. These impactful leaders demonstrate Emotional Intelligence, ethical behavior, strategic thinking and coalescing these components to serve others. It centers on servant leadership and the ability to serve others rather than your own selfish ego. Be purposeful in your strategies and tactical in your implementation.)

3. Be generous and participate: (Great leaders inspire us with their purpose and ignite our passions and resolve. Be the first to take the blame and the first to offer praise to your direct reports. As a transformational leader, your impact is felt through your ability to lead, delegate and inspire others to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.)

4. Embrace an environment of well-being: (By serving others we negate the ego-driven need to be in control and eliminate the narcissistic tendency that it is all about me. Rather, embrace the needs [physically, emotionally, and intellectually] to be productive and to celebrate the successes in the organization.)

5. Foster a culture of inclusiveness: (Transformational leaders do not play favorites. They treat others fairly, ethically and financially. They reward a culture of cohesiveness and open communications. These impactful leaders promote equality by managing conflicts as a crucible moment and learning experiences with fairness and equity.

These leaders intuitively understand by promoting an approachable and encouraging culture, members in the organization feel safe to speak the truth and make mistakes. Remove the appearance of playing favorites with a select group of employees by rewarding individuals who display unique talents in the organization.)

Altogether, these five components assist the transformational leader to have a significant impact on others. As John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a (transformational) leader.” Make your legacy an impactful one, and in the process, be the change you wish to see in the organization or world.

Finally, to my friend that recently passed away, you are missed and forever in our thoughts and prayers.