Transformational Characteristics for Business Leaders

Transformation is another word for change. The word change often conjures images or feelings of having something unwanted occurring or being thrust upon. Aspects of change that may lessen the resistance factor to the implementation of something new is to model traits of transformational leaders.

These traits include:

  • Idealized Influence – the leader is seen to “walk the talk” and is emulated for this.
  • Inspirational Motivation – having and presenting with clarity a vision that inspires others.
  • Individualized Consideration – personal attention to each team member develops trust.
  • Intellectual Stimulation – teams are encouraged to question and to be creative.

The end result of these transformational traits being in place is a cohesive group that continues to grow in terms of creativity and action that is considered by the group to be integrated with the values of the company and the work being undertaken.

What is your experience with modelling this type of leadership in your business?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant Change & Transition –

SWN – Lunch & Learn Featuring – Val Michaud “The Mustard Queen” April 9/19

Saskatoon Women’s Network (SWN) Presents a – Dynamic Lunch & Learn Speaker – Tuesday April 9th 2019

“The Queen of Mustard” – Val Michaudof Gravelbourg Mustard –

Val has appeared on the “Dragon’s Den” and will be speaking about the “Challenges of Being a Woman Entrepreneur” in today’s business climate.

Tuesday April 9, 2019

11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Quality Inn & Suites

1715 Idylwyld Dr N, Saskatoon, SK S7L 1B4

Sedona Room – 2nd Floor – Elevator Available

 There are a few seats remaining for the Lunch & Learn.

Registration is online at

Please register by Friday April 5th 2019 12 noon.

For additional information please contact Marie-Helene Sakowski – Acting Vice President of SWN at

Leadership Competence

The list presented is far from exhaustive.  It also builds on having core soft skills in place.  On review which competencies are your strong suits?  From that, which are the ones that can be improved upon?  Lastly what would add or take away from the list?

  1. Social Intelligence – Sensitivity to social situations.
  2. Interpersonal Skills – The phrase “soft skills” is representative of having interpersonal skills.
  3. Emotional Intelligence – Having emotional intelligence includes paying attention to nonverbal cues.
  4. Prudence – Prudence is being able to see others’ perspectives.
  5. Courage – Standing firm in your principles especially in the face of opposition or criticism.
  6. Conflict Management – Working with those in conflict to develop collaborative solutions.
  7. Decision Making – Leaders understand when to consult with the larger team.
  8. Political Skills – An effective leader is a good political player.
  9. Influence Skills – As a leader having mastery in terms of influencing others is necessary.
  10. Area Competence – It is important that you add to the competency level of the enterprise.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant Change & Transition –

Meaningful Work

Arriving at work are you ready and set to go and accomplish something meaningful only to find yourself burdened with low level tasks? Spending your time completing these tasks robs you of your “get up and go” attitude and energy.

Many employees share the same feelings. Low level repetitive tasks leave most employees feeling bored and under utilized.

It seems that many Canadians would turn down a job that paid more and stay with a job where they are making meaningful contributions. Employees appreciate employers who implement systems that manage mundane or repetitive tasks.

Creativity, satisfaction and overall happiness tend to flourish when those systems are in place. What innovative ways have you found to engage, sustain, and systematize your business to minimize the dreaded to do list?

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant – Change & Transition,

Management Competence

The market place is full of competency and behavioral assessments that assist managers in discovering their core strengths.  The list below is a sampling.  On review which competencies are your strong suits?  From that, which are the ones that can be improved upon?  Lastly what would add or take away from the list?

  1. Action Oriented – Seizing more opportunities than others is customary
  2. Dealing with Ambiguity – Making decisions and acing without having the total picture is usual
  3. Approachability – Generally gracious and patient with the interpersonal anxieties of others
  4. Business Acumen – The ability to deploy strategies and tactics that work in the marketplace
  5. Genuine Compassion – Monitors workloads and appreciates extra effort
  6. Comfort Around Executives – Comfortable in dealing with and addressing more senior managers
  7. Command Skills – Faces adversity head on and is energized by tough challenges
  8. Composure – Mature and can be counted on to hold things together during tough times
  9. Managerial Courage – Takes negative action when necessary
  10. Managing and Measuring Work – Sets clear objectives and measures.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant Chane & Transition –

Does Your Business Have the Capacity to Change

Often those in the top levels of a business are entrenched in having a business transition occur without having taken an accurate pulse as to what is actually involved.  This occurs in large and small businesses alike.

An accurate assessment of capacity relies on having your employees provide honest feedback as to what is on their plates currently along with their ability to take more on and have it turn out. Getting real as to what can take place is of course dependent on having honest feedback from employees.

Honesty requires trust.  Ensure you have that trust and that you are willing to have certain tasks be re-assigned, or have additional help brought in on a temporary basis to ease the strain of the current workload.

Assessing the capacity of your teams or teams and then taking the action necessary to ensure your team or teams have the necessary resources and support is crucial to the success of the business transition.

Contact me for a discussion regarding your business transition needs.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Change & Transition Consultant,

Communicate with Confidence

There is an expression that I grew up with that goes something like this “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, meaning that when things are difficult – action is required. The phrase is said to come from JFK’s father Joseph Kennedy. Action in many cases takes the form of communication.

Essentially the statement is one that resonates with me.  There are however a few additions I would make to communication with confidence.

  • When you need to communicate something that is challenging or difficult – show it – be in integrity with what is occurring.
  • Pause and listen carefully before speaking or entering into a debate.
  • Hone your listening skills – pay attention to what is not being said.
  • Be aware of what you are saying and how your body is positioned – have good posture, make eye contact – say what there is to say without embellishment.

Practice and develop taking action through confident communication especially when the subject area is challenging.

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant – Change & Transition,


Stop Saying Sorry

Canadian Sociologist Maja Jovanovic has made a study of apologetic statements that are made. She believes that the more we utter “sorry” the more it hurts us as individuals. When constantly saying “sorry “Jovanovic states that makes us appear smaller, timid, and diminishes our confidence.

Taking out sorry from your sentences is a discipline that requires vigilance, practice, and consideration. When you bump into someone try saying oops – pardon me, or go ahead, or even after you. When you are in a meeting and want to contribute you can be polite and enter the discussion by using any number of phrases such as How about looking at this another way, or Here is an idea. These statements do not minimize what you have to offer and who you are.

When you find yourself late for a meeting or appointment thank everyone for their patience and just join in. A simple Thank You changes the dynamic. Even when you have been challenged by something and have been complaining about a situation a thank you for listening is all that is required.

In what areas are you prepared to be cognizant of the unnecessary “sorry” phrase and are prepared to eliminate it from your speech patterns?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant – Change & Transition,

Areas That Make a Difference at Work

There is a lot of material on what aspects employers need to be focusing on to have engaged and productivity employees. The top from a management consulting perspective are:

  • Encouraging the development of soft skills – that is those skills that improve communication, train a solutions orientation, and set the stage for creative problem solving;
  • Providing flexible work arrangement with staggered hours for staring and completing the day and allowing for telecommuting once a week for all employees.
  • Offering safe methodologies that are free from reprisal for launching concerns over harassing or bullying behaviour in the workplace.

When employees feel that they are valued and receiving training that enhances their skill sets, when they have a degree of autonomy over their work schedules, and when they feel safe enough to report behaviour that is threatening or harassing, they will typically be engaged. Engaged employees stay with their employer for extended periods of time. Employees that are engaged are also productive with fewer sick time and absenteeism.

What are the top areas in your company relating to employee engagement?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant – Change & Transition,

Leadership & Cultural Change

As a leader in your business you may be faced with having to address the aspect of cultural change or transformation. You may have come to the realization that the lack of stimulating discussion on several areas of crucial importance to the business is not occurring.

Overcoming the tendency to think that a lack of discussion means that there is consensus is a key first step in recognizing that change is necessary.  Consensus is often an overlooked flag when it comes to making and taking the tough decisions that spur an organizational cultural revamp.

Consensus decision making is a useful process when it reflects active and spirited discussion.  When that is missing it indicates it may indicate that employees are simply going along with a process and are not fully engaged or supportive of what is being implemented.

When teams are avoiding disagreeing it is an additional flag that the risks involved are not being addressed. The failure of an implementation may be because a decision was made by a team or group that was not willing to challenge the process.

What action have you as a leader taken to encourage discussion and disagreement in your business?

Marie-Helene Sakowski – Business Consultant – Change & Transition,