Why would a startup company that does not have established leadership roles already need leadership to change? Because startups need more than a leader who tells them what the goals of the company are to succeed; each employee needs to know their own purpose in that process and someone who will motivate them. There are several ways transforming leadership at a startup can achieve this.

Transformational Leaders Think “Out of the Box”

The mistake many companies make is to hire from within. What this creates is a leader who usually only sees the company as it is, not how it should be. Bringing an individual into a leadership role from outside of the company lends itself to having a more transformational leader. They have experience in the industry but in a different environment without preconceived notions of how things should be done. They bring a fresh perspective to a fledgling company without being afraid of change.

For example, Satya Nadella did not join Microsoft until the early 90s, having worked for other tech companies and creating his own vision of cloud computing along the way. Because of this “outside thinking” that he developed, Microsoft saw him as a greater asset and hired him to lead its cloud computing endeavors. In 2014, he became Microsoft’s CEO mostly based on his innovative cloud business development strategies, transforming Microsoft’s place in that market.

Developing Optimal Communication

Transformational leaders share the characteristic of including everyone in the decision-making process. They recognize that doing this empowers employees to do their best work and share their best ideas. As Gilbert Amelio, CEO of National Semiconductor Corporation explained, “Excellent communication skills [in a leader] is essential…and [to]share knowledge and ideas…and enthusiasm.” This only happens if a leader transmits the idea that change is good and leads to success right from the inception of a company’s mission through the production employed during each project.

Developing a Culture of Change in the Workplace

In a world of steep competition in most markets and nearly constant change, a transformational leader knows that creating a culture of consistent change among all employees is imperative. This becomes the “personality” of the company and the catalyst that drives all activities within the organization. A transformational leader has built the idea that continuously improving output and bringing new ideas to the table is the standard by which the startup will drive its success.