Ignite Passion and Inspire Others: Becoming a Transformational Leader

By Andrea Saenz

Being a leader often comes with great responsibilities and rather high expectations to maintain. We are often our own worst critics, as we feel an arduous pressure to perform. But, what we fail to do at times, is to take a moment to pause and reflect—look introspectively and ask ourselves, “Why am I in a position of leadership? What can I bring to the table? What are some short and long-term goals that I would like to see accomplished in my own personal growth as a leader, in my teammates and in the organization that I am in?”

An article entitled, Transformational Leadership from Langston University, defines transformational leadership as “an influential approach that causes noteworthy change in individuals and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive metamorphoses in followers, with the end goal of evolving those followers into esteem trailblazers.”

In the book, 360 Degree Leader, John C. Maxwell identifies three principles to help leaders bring value and influence to and from every level of an organization:


Leading up is the process of influencing a leader. This process includes lightening the leader’s load by being willing to do what others won’t, while knowing when to push forward and when to back off. Tread cautiously, though as you wouldn’t want to cross your boundaries.


Leaders in the middle or heart of an organization are leaders of leaders. These individuals help peers achieve positive results, let the best ideas win, and garner mutual respect. Thus, it is essential to develop and maintain credibility, and continually exert influence.


Leaders at the top who lead down help people realize their potential, become a strong role model, and encourage others to become part of a higher purpose. This involves walking through the halls, transferring the vision, and rewarding for results. At present day Wiss, we transfer our core values and reward outstanding behaviors.

A wise man once told me, “Your biggest attribute as a leader is your servant attitude.” (Thanks, Dad!)  A leader is recognized by their service, their humility and willingness to bring out the best in their team. Keep in mind that you can lead others from anywhere in an organization; and when you do, you make the organization better as a whole. Do not limit yourself because of your position or job title. You do not need a “title” in order to lead – what qualifies you to lead is your willingness to grow and develop others.

Andrea Saenz is a Project Manager at Wiss where she manages the day to day scheduling of work amongst staff and organizes firm-wide social events and culture activities. Reach Andrea at asaenz@wiss.visioncreativegroup.com or 973.994.9400.

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