Transformational leadership development in the UK: as fire and rescue services experience the 'permanent white water' of change, a leading leadership development consultant argues the case for transformational leadership, which should provide the inspiration, motivation and encouragement to articulate and promote the communication needed for change.(Leadership Development)

IT USED TO BE THAT ORGANISATIONS made big changes rarely. A period of restructure would then last five to ten years before new important change was needed. In today's world, organisations must operate in the 'permanent white water of change. Whether it is driven by market or sector pressures, technological advancements, efficiency savings or simply the wish to improve a service, new change can arrive even before the last is bedded in. Fire and rescue services are experiencing this phenomenon first hand.

Successful navigation of these unending rapids requires strong leadership. At its best, leadership provides clear vision, holds to powerful values, exemplifies and embodies flexible ways of working, and perhaps most importantly, is able to dearly articulate and promote the communication of necessary change in order to bring others along with it. Truly transformational leadership provides rote models, inspires with ideas, motivates and encourages, and coaches for performance.

Mystical Leadership

Yet many employees hold the traditional view that only senior leaders in organisations can be--or are allowed to be--this way. 'Leadership' is often seen as something mystical that only the blessed enjoy; something done unto the rest of us. This feeling can partly be put down to our experience of organisational culture. However, in its work throughout 14 fire and rescue services around the country, SFL has seen true grass roots leadership behaviour bloom--and in fact leadership is required at every level in order for honest change to be successful.

The brainchild of John Fay MBE, SFL is a Staffordshire-based leadership development organisation. …

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