A Transformer’s Role

You cannot influence people to buy-in to your change or vision if you cannot influence them to buy into you first.

When developing a highly effective leadership culture, the first thing we must accomplish if the buy-in of our team. Not the buy-in of the change of culture, but the buy-in of ourselves. We need to ensure that the team buy-in to us as their leader.

1. Changing Culture

The only way the team will buy-in to you is if you increase your influence with them in a positive way. This is why leadership development is so important in the very beginning because without it, there is no way you are going to generate any buy-in from your team.

You cannot force people to buy-in to you, you can only influence them to buy-in.

If you don’t have a positive influence with your team, then the team will resist you. Disappointment within the team will rise and eventually you as the leader will become disappointed.


Resistance from your team leads to them becoming disengaged, and when that happens you can guarantee that there will be no buy-in. The team will only do what they need to do to get the job done, which isn’t a good position to be in.

Your team will show up for work, but they will not want to be there, and they won’t be as productive as possible. When people don’t want to be at their work, they will give just the bare minimum to get to the end of the day and get paid at the end of the month.

When people are disengaged like this just to get paid, they will not care about your vision for a change in culture, or your mission for the future. It is impossible to be engaged and disengaged at the same time. Disengagement is basically a person resisting what is being put forward or put on to them.

The number of organisations throughout the world who ask for feedback from their employees, but then don’t put that feedback to use is amazing. I have filled out about 30 employee engagement surveys in my career, and I can’t remember if what was said on those surveys was used in a positive way.

2. Vision

I still saw the vision and mission of the organisation on a poster in the office. Nobody was talking about them, and we still didn’t see the leaders of the organisation anywhere.

This is the reason why most employees in most organisations don’t buy-in to their leaders. The leaders do not have a positive influence with them. The leaders do not inspire their people with their vision for the organisation. The leaders don’t involve their people when working on their vision.

If an organisation does not have highly effective leadership development, then they will not develop highly effective leaders at any level. The people in leadership positions will become highly effective managers and do their best to manage their people instead of leading them.

Without engaged leaders of people, there won’t be any engaged people within the organisation. This is very apparent to people who are highly effective leaders and feel the need to help these organisations change their culture.

Management has nothing to do with people. It is the management of processes, policies, procedures and things. But, when you try to apply management techniques with people, this is when your influence becomes more and more negative, and your people become resistant of you.

When I filled out the employee engagement survey, that was the idea of a manager not a leader. It is a manager’s way of disguising their poor leadership skills. It is also a tick in the box with the senior leaders of the organisation because they have poor leadership development too.

Managing people like processes, policies, procedures and things simply does not work, and will never work.

Managers who do nothing with the results they see in the employee engagement surveys that are filled out, do so because they don’t know what to do. If they knew what to do with these results, they would already be doing it without the need for a survey, and they would have good leadership development.

3. Influence

They would understand how to gain the buy-in from their people by increasing their influence in a positive way. They would understand how to develop a highly effective leadership culture within their team and throughout the organisation.

What I have seen over the years when I have experienced managers trying to manage me and my teammates is, resignations.

Not just myself either, other members of my team have left because of their relationship with the manager. To stop any resignations happening within your team, you must lead your people, not manage them.

When people feel led by their line manager or boss, that is when they start to buy-in to them as a person. When people are disengaged, they will do the bare minimum to get paid and will follow the boss because they have to.

When a people are engaged, they will go the extra mile for their leader and for the team and they will follow their leader because they want to. The difference between wanting to do something and doing something because you have to is huge.

4. Transformation

When your people start following you because they want to, this is when you are well on your way to being a transformer.

You will become a transformer when you buy-in to me and take action on what you are learning from this article, and when you start to see positive results with your team and organisation. Are you up for that?

You will not be a transformer if you read this article and then do nothing with the information I have shared. If you don’t buy-in to me and think what I am sharing is a load of rubbish then you will not be able to develop a highly effective leadership culture.

What you are reading and learning from me is not the be all and end all by the way. To develop a highly effective team and highly effective leadership culture, you will need to do and learn a lot more.

But, what I am sharing is very important if you want your organisation to become the most attractive in your industry and you want to have that highly effective team and highly effective leadership culture.

The first place for you to start is with yourself, and that is developing your own character. As you continue to do that, the next place to go is with your team and helping them to develop their character. There is no other place to start on this highly effective leadership journey.


Highly effective leaders know how to achieve the buy-in from their people and beyond because they don’t force it on them. They don’t demand that their people buy in to them, or their vision. Buy-in must be earned.

Highly effective leaders are transformers, and they know how to develop their character every single day. Even if their character is at a very high level, there is no finish line. They work on themselves every day.

You will not get this with managers of people because they have weak characters and don’t know how to develop a stronger character. Managers force buy-in out of their team rather than earn it.

My articles will always help you in your leadership development, personal growth and increasing your influence with others. When reading them you will learn how to engage your team, build trust and earn buy-in.

Managers who force things on or out of their people will never earn trust or buy-in. Leaders who influence in a positive way will always build trust and the buy-in form their people.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

8 thoughts on “A Transformer’s Role

  1. Tom, your article “A Transformer’s Role” resonates deeply with the fundamental principles of leadership and influence, particularly in the context of fostering a culture of engagement and buy-in. The distinction you draw between managing and leading is pivotal. It’s akin to the difference between telling a story that people feel obligated to listen to and crafting a narrative that captivates and persuades them to join the journey willingly.

    In my work as a copywriter and affiliate marketer, I see parallels between the necessity of developing authentic connections and the power of positive influence. Whether it’s through compelling copy or strategic leadership, the essence lies in the ability to inspire trust and enthusiasm towards a vision. Your emphasis on character development as the cornerstone of effective leadership echoes the importance of authenticity in marketing. Just as consumers must buy into the person or brand behind the product, team members must believe in their leader’s integrity and vision.

    Your insights on leadership development and influence not only serve as a blueprint for aspiring leaders but also underscore the continuous journey of personal and professional growth. It reminds me that, whether in leadership or marketing, our influence is most potent when it’s built on genuine engagement and a commitment to excellence.

    I appreciate your comprehensive approach to transforming managers into leaders who can genuinely earn their team’s buy-in. It’s a reminder that, in any field, success is not just about what we do but how we inspire others to join us in the endeavour.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Tom. Your article is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills and, by extension, their ability to influence positive change within their organization or team.

    1. Hi John,

      I am so appreciative of your very kind and detailed comment on my article.

      It means so much to me that this article resonates with you, and I hope it resonates with so many more too. And I hope people can read your comment and resonate with it in the same way, and learn from you just as much as they can from me.

      Keep sharing your own inspirational message with the world and keep leading your people in the right way.

      All the best,


  2. Hey Tom, yet another good post! I have been there, where management, is all about policies, and following guidelines, as working in a school these are a must!
    Now there is a lot of paper-work, they have to adhere to, and the human element is lost, so unfortunately we are just numbers, one goes they can replace, this is quite common practice in most work places now!

    The only thing I may point out is, as a senior member of our team, and for all the other senior members, we are role models to the yournger members of staff, that are newbies. What experiences, and expertise we have built up over the years are beneficial to them, and of course any training offered would be an added bonus!

    It also goes without saying that management trained in a better way to work with their teams, hence colleagues and build trust, instead of forcing them to have better practice is a plus in my books.

    It’s how one approaches another member of staff, and your techniques and advice, should be implemented throughout all work places!

    When one asks how’s it going? and they reply ‘I hate it here!’ as they hate management, then that’s where your work would work wonders.

    So thanks for this thoughtful post, and I hope many more viewers get to see this and applies these good practices!
    Julia. 😊

    1. Hi Julia,

      Thank you for sharing your very detailed comment, it really does mean the world to me.

      I hope people who read this article can read your comment too and relate to your thoughts.

      I hope you take action on what you have learned from my article and share what you learn with your own people.

      All the best,


  3. This is a great article, Tom. It’s important for a leader to continuously learn and develop skills to handle different cultures within. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and thoughts and hopefully other leaders will learn a great deal from these articles.

    1. Hi Mady,

      Thank you for your comment and for your kind words.

      It is my pleasure to share and I hope you take action on what you learn, and then share what you learn with your people.

      All the best,


  4. Absolutely!

    You hit the nail on the head with this one.
    Building a highly effective leadership culture starts from within.
    Before we can expect our team to fully embrace any cultural shift, we must first secure our own buy-in. After all, leadership is about leading by example, and if we’re not fully committed to the vision and values we’re trying to instill, how can we expect others to be?

    Taking the time to reflect on our own beliefs, values, and motivations is crucial in this process.
    It’s about aligning our actions with our words and demonstrating the kind of leadership we aspire to see in others.

    When we authentically believe in the culture we’re striving to create, that belief becomes infectious, inspiring our team members to join us wholeheartedly on the journey.

    By prioritizing our own buy-in, we lay a solid foundation for building trust, fostering collaboration, and driving meaningful change within our organization.
    So let’s lead with conviction, integrity, and enthusiasm, knowing that our commitment to the cause will ultimately pave the way for a culture of excellence and success.

    1. Hi Matthew,

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, insights and kind words on my article.

      There will be people who read my article who can resonate with your thoughts and I hope they can learn from you as much as they can from me.

      In the workplace culture is so important, as it is how you feel when you arrive and are there for the day. If you feel great and everybody else does then the culture is great. If you feel terrible and don’t like anybody and everybody else feels the same way then the culture is toxic.

      This all stems from the leader. So, if you’re a leader who believes in cultivating a great culture, then it starts with you.

      All the best,


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