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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: