There are several style descriptors thrown around when talking about change leadership- conscious, mindful, transformative, intentional, charismatic, and transformational. Two of the most referenced as interchangeable are Conscious Change Leadership and Transformative Leadership. These are actually two different approaches to leadership, although they share some similarities.
CONSCIOUS CHANGE LEADERSHIP
Conscious Change Leadership focuses on bringing about change in a deliberate and thoughtful way by creating a clear vision and engaging stakeholders in the process. Conscious Change Leaders are aware of their own biases and limitations and seek to create an environment of trust and transparency that allows for open communication and collaboration. They are focused on achieving specific goals and outcomes, usually a specific strategic initiative or program of initiatives, while also considering the well-being of all stakeholders involved. Conscious Change Leadership can be used in any context where change is needed, whether in a business, government, or community setting.
Transformative Leadership, on the other hand, is more focused on personal and organizational transformation, with the goal of creating fundamental, long-lasting change. Transformative Leaders seek to challenge the status quo and inspire their followers to think beyond their current limits. They are often described as charismatic and visionary, with the ability to inspire and motivate others to act towards a common goal. Transformative Leaders tend to be strong in systems thinking and are often supporting social justice movements or leading organizations that are undergoing significant cultural or systemic change.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
While both Conscious Change Leadership and Transformative Leadership seek to bring about positive change, they differ in their focus and approach. Conscious Change Leadership is more focused on achieving specific outcomes, while Transformative Leadership is more focused on personal and organizational transformation. Conscious Change Leaders are deliberate and thoughtful, while Transformative Leaders are often more charismatic and visionary.
IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A LEADER TO BE BOTH A CONSCIOUS CHANGE LEADER AND A TRANSFORMATIVE LEADER
A leader who is able to integrate elements of both can create a powerful leadership style that is able to respond to a variety of situations. They can use the deliberate and thoughtful approach of Conscious Change Leadership to build a foundation of trust and collaboration. Then, use the visionary and inspirational approach of Transformative Leadership to push for profound change when necessary.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of a leader will depend on their ability to adapt to different situations and contexts and to use a leadership style that is appropriate for the circumstances. By combining elements of Conscious Change Leadership and Transformative Leadership, a leader can create a versatile and effective leadership style that can lead to positive outcomes for individuals and organizations.