We finish with the fourth “I” today. Putting this fourth “I” into place rounds out the transformational toolbox.
4. Intellectual Stimulation: Transformational leaders challenge their followers to look at the challenges facing the organization through problem solving lenses. Also many times transformational leaders stimulate followers to think differently about issues that will help them be more effective in their roles in the organization.
The biblical character I have in mind today is the Apostle Peter. He writes something in his second letter that catches my attention every time I read it. He flat out gives his readers the reason he is writing not only the second letter, but also the first one as well. In chapter 3 verses 1&2 he writes:
1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles…
He is writing these two letters so that his readers would be stirred up to remember what had been taught them about biblical predictions so they could live lives that pleased God. It was a form of intellectual stimulation.
At the beginning of our staff meetings we have an agenda item entitled “Leadership Lessons.” I try to bring some resource to the meeting that has to do with leadership development. Something that sharpens our skills in the area of leadership so we can best rise to the challenges that come our way in a growing organization.
How do you intellectually stimulate your followers? Is there a perspective about leadership you can share with them? Is your organization facing a challenge that by resourcing your followers they will better be able to handle? Think about it.
So that rounds out the four “I’s” of transformational leadership. This is probably a topic I’ll come back to periodically. I believe this concept, more than any in the area of leadership, holds the keys to effectiveness and personal growth not only for us as leaders but for our followers as well.
So that’s the leader’s view for today.