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Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership styles focus on team-building, motivation, and collaboration with employees at different levels of an organization to accomplish change for the better.

Transformational leaders set goals and incentives to push their subordinates to higher performance levels while providing opportunities for personal and professional growth for each employee.

Ultimately, transformational leaders can develop a very powerful influence over followers.

4 factors of transformational leaders Inspiration Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, Idealized Influence, and Individualized Consideration

Transformational Leadership may be found at all levels of the organization, teams, departments, divisions, and organization as a whole.

Such leaders are visionary, inspiring, daring, risk-takers and thoughtful thinkers. They have a charismatic appeal.

However, charisma alone is insufficient for changing the way an operator.

Transformational leaders transform the personal values of followers to support the vision and goals of the organization by fostering an environment where relationships can be formed and by establishing a climate of trust in which visions can be shared.

Bass and Avolio (Bass, 1985a; Bass & Avolio, 1990) developed Burns’ (1978) ideas and posited the formal concept of transformational leadership.

Their work built not only upon the contribution of Burns but also those made by Bennis and Nanus (1985), Tichy and Devanna (1986), and others.

Bass (1990b) specified that transformational leadership “occurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their self-interest for the good of the group” (p. 21).

Bass (1990a) stipulates that this transcending beyond self-interest is for the “group, organization, or society” (p. 53).

In essence, transformational leadership is a process of building commitment to organizational objectives and then empowering followers to accomplish those objectives (Yukl, 1998). The result, at least in theory, is enhanced follower performance.

Burns (1978) considered leaders to be either transformational or transactional, while others view leadership as a continuum with transactional leadership at one end and transformational leadership at the other.

Bass (1990a) said that transactional leadership occurs when leaders “exchange promises of rewards and benefits to subordinates for the subordinates’ fulfillment of agreements with the leader”.

The transactional leader, according to Daft (2002), recognizes followers’ needs and then defines the exchange process for meeting those needs. Both the leader and the follower benefit from the exchange transaction.

Transactional leadership is based on bureaucratic authority, focuses on task completion, and relies on rewards and punishments.

Transformational leadership differs substantially from transactional leadership. It is concerned more about progress and development. Furthermore, transformational leadership enhances the effects of transactional leadership on followers.

Avolio, Waldman, and Yammarino (1991) established four primary behaviors that constitute transformational leadership:

For bringing major changes, transformational leaders must exhibit the following four:

Four Elements of Transformational Leadership

1. Inspiration Motivation.

2. Intellectual Stimulation.

3. Idealized Influence.

4. Individualized Consideration.

Inspiration Motivation

The foundation of transformational leadership is the promotion of consistent vision, mission, and a set of values to the members. Their vision is so compelling that they know what they want from every interaction.

Transformational leaders inspire and motivate others by “providing meaning and challenge to their followers’ work”. The spirit of the team is “aroused” while “enthusiasm and optimism are displayed”.

The transformational leader builds relationships with followers through interactive communication, which forms a cultural bond between the two participants and leads to a shifting of values by both parties toward common ground.

The leader inspires followers to see the attractive future state while communicating expectations and demonstrating a commitment to goals and a shared vision. Idealized influence and inspirational motivation are usually combined to form charismatic-inspirational leadership.

Intellectual Stimulation

Such leaders encourage their followers to be innovative and creative.

They encourage new ideas from their followers and never criticize them publicly for the mistakes committed by them.

Transformational leaders stimulate their followers’ efforts “to be innovative and creative by questioning assumptions, reframing problems, and approaching old situations in new ways”.

Followers’ mistakes are not publicly criticized and creativity is openly encouraged.

Transformational leaders solicit their followers’ ideas and creative solutions to problems, thereby including followers in problem-solving.

The intellectually stimulating leader encourages followers to try new approaches but emphasizes rationality.

Idealized Influence