Transformational Leadership: All you need to know

Transformational leadership: All you need to know

What do you think distinguishes a transformational leader from other leaders who employ various leadership philosophies? What traits define their leadership style and what drives them to lead individuals, a group, or an entire organisation? What benefit does it bring to an organisation? In this post, we have explored everything you need to know about transformational leadership. 

What is meant by transformational leadership?

According to a leadership book published in 1978 by the leadership specialist James MacGregor Burns, transformative leadership is a process where “leaders and their followers boost one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.”

Transformational Leadership: All you need to know

This style of leadership is practiced in a variety of fields, including politics, education, entertainment, business, technology, and others. It relies on inspiring and energizing followers to take an active role in shaping an organization’s prosperous future. Establishing a group’s shared purpose is frequently part of this process. This idea is rooted in an organization’s official “vision” and “mission,” which are two features leaders utilize to help define and describe goals.

A genuinely transformational leader may enter a failing or stagnant organization, assess the situation, and identify the modifications that are required practically right away. This is done in a manner that brings the group together in a single undertaking. The leader needs to be able to direct the organization in establishing or redefining its core principles.

Transformational leadership is used to motivate staff to work together as a team toward a common objective and to look ahead with an emphasis on the larger good. A successful transformation cannot start unless a leader has completed these tasks.

Related: What is Transformational Leadership?

Brief on the transformational leadership theory

Brief on the transformational leadership theory

It is now more crucial than ever to have a high-performance workforce, and corporate leaders must be able to motivate employees to go above and beyond the call of duty. New theories of leadership have as a result been developed, transformational leadership being one of them.

All organizational levels teams, departments, divisions, and the overall organization can exhibit transformational leadership. Such leaders have a clear vision and are motivating, courageous, adventurous, and reflective. They appeal to people with charisma. However, charisma cannot transform an organization’s culture on its own. Transformational leaders must demonstrate the following four traits to effect significant change: 

  1. Inspirational Motivation: The dissemination of a constant vision, mission, and set of values to the members is the cornerstone of transformative leadership. Their perspective is so
  2. Vision: It is so compelling that they know what they want from every interaction. Transformational leaders guide followers by providing them with a sense of meaning and challenge. They work enthusiastically and optimistically to foster the spirit of teamwork and commitment. 
  3. 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. The leaders focus on the “what” in problems and do not focus on the blaming part of it. 
  4. Good Judgments: They have the authority to make judgments and are constantly given the assistance they need to carry those decisions through. Gandhi and Obama are two prominent instances of transformational leaders.

Transformational Leadership Theory: Criticisms

Transformational Leadership Theory: Criticisms

Since impression management is a component of transformational leadership, it encourages leaders to promote themselves in an unethical way. Because the idea is a synthesis of other leadership philosophies, it is particularly challenging to train or teach. Leaders may manipulate their followers, and there is a possibility that they will cause them to lose more than they gain.

Consequences of the theory of transformational leadership

Transformational leadership must prevail at all levels of the company in the current context, which is marked by uncertainty, global unrest, and organizational instability. Following such leaders results in high levels of organizational commitment and work satisfaction, as well as organizational citizenship behaviors. With a such committed staff, it will undoubtedly be beneficial to think about putting some effort into building strategies for changing the organization through leadership.

4 elements of transformational leadership

4 elements of transformational leadership

Developing others’ leadership potential entails using your skills as a transformational leader. You don’t need to transform your business overnight, but you do need to decide consciously to take on the mentorship position. According to a research article posted on the website of the University of Florida, developing the four leadership styles known as the four I’s is necessary for becoming a transformational leader.

Optimistic Influence

Transformational leadership: All you need to know

The first I, idealized influence, relates to a transformative leader’s capacity to set an exemplary example. Being a good example, they don’t ask their followers to perform things they wouldn’t do and instead models wonderful leadership behaviors. Transformational leaders gain respect because they fulfill their expectations.

Particularized Attention

The second I, personalized consideration, is used by transformational leaders to teach and mentor followers to help them reach their full potential. By providing this kind of one-on-one leadership, they enhance organizational performance by assisting employees in achieving their objectives. Transformational leaders sincerely care about and desire the best for their team members. They communicate well with their charges on a one-on-one basis, earning their respect.

Motivating Inspiration

I number three: A transformational leader who can mobilize supporters behind a cause has inspirational motivation. They successfully motivate staff members to collaborate as a team to accomplish the organization’s goals because they can get them fired up about those goals and the organization’s vision.

Cognitive Stimulation

The final I, intellectual stimulation, refers to a transformative leader’s capacity to promote unconventional thinking. They encourage subordinates to take chances by genuinely caring about their attempts to make innovative discoveries. Transformational leaders encourage entrepreneurship by fostering an atmosphere that is open to change, growth, and novel business perspectives.

Related: 12 Characteristics of Transformational Leadership

5 examples of transformational leaders

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

One of the most transformational leaders we’ve seen is easily the late Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. Together with Steve Wozniak, Jobs founded Apple in 1976, and the two built computers for non-corporate customers out of Jobs’ garage. Jobs had the insight and vision to follow his ambitions, make challenging decisions, and have an impact on people all over the world long before anyone else fully understood the potential of a personal computer.

Steve Jobs challenged his employees to think creatively and intellectually, inspiring them to create goods that we didn’t even realize we needed. His capacity for making decisions and adaptability were traits of Jobs’ leadership, and in later years, he was willing to take calculated risks in line with his accomplishments.

Mandela, Nelson.

Transformational leadership can also occur in non-digital contexts. Nelson Mandela will be remembered in history as one of the most heroic figures ever. He spent years spearheading the fight for democracy in South Africa and spent 27 years in a squalid prison before being released when the nation’s fight against oppression reached a turning point.

Despite everything Mandela had gone through, he was able to lead the nation as its next president while advocating for reconciliation. In doing so, he prevented the anticipated carnage of racial retribution that the populace dreaded and expected, transforming South Africa into a democratic country.

Mandela exemplified the idealized impact leadership style, and because of his ethics and morality, he was revered by both his supporters and society at large. His total lack of personal ego and superb self-control demonstrated that his values extended beyond material gain, and all of his activities were perceived as being for the benefit of the nation.

Deming, William Edwards

Many people credit Dr. William Edwards Deming for starting the revolution in total quality management (TQM). He was a math and physics doctor who spent the majority of his career working for the US government. He traveled to Japan for the U.S. Army after World War II and assisted the Japanese in using statistical techniques and procedures in manufacturing. He anticipated achieving this goal in five years, but it was completed in four.

Deming returned to the United States to use transformational leadership examples in the manufacturing sector, where his inspirational motivational approach had already achieved benefits by the year 1980. His accomplishments display collective consciousness traits together with strong self-management and the capacity to maintain his ego in check.

Ross Perot, H.

H. Ross Perot was another transformative figure in the digital sphere. He created Electric Data Systems, a business that built and maintained computer systems for clients, after a stint in sales with IBM. With a well-known “personal touch” leadership style and strong decision-making and risk-taking abilities, he made excellent use of the individual consideration factor. The transition to the service-oriented manner of working that so many businesses currently employ was started by Perot’s approach to customer care.

Reese Hastings

Netflix is now a multi-billion dollar subscription-based entertainment service, despite its beginnings as a mail-order DVD service to compete with the then-market leader, Blockbuster. It produces its original projects in addition to renting previously made content, which is an astounding feat given Hastings’ prior experience as a software programmer. But even while Hastings’ vision may have revolutionized the watching habits of millions of people around the world, his managerial style may be his greatest accomplishment. 

For instance, employees at Netflix receive an unlimited amount of vacation time as long as they meet performance goals. The company puts entire worker autonomy first, giving employees unheard-of independence in exchange for a market-leading and generation-defining product, rather than micromanaging and having warm people in uncomfortable seats.

Related: 25 Examples of Transformational Leadership

Benefits of transformational leaders

Benefits of transformational leaders

They Give People a Sense of Value

Employees who are led by leaders who practice transformational leadership are treated with respect and feel valued. As long as that leader is in place, employees are considerably more likely to stay at a company and be loyal.

People can be inspired to go above and beyond by them

They inspire those around them to do the same and go above and beyond due to the benefits of transformative leadership and their passion for advancing a clear vision. This could imply that workers willingly put in extra time or labor on the weekend to accomplish a certain task.

Can Initiate Change and Drive It

The ability of this sort of leader to not only invent new ways of doing things, thereby promoting change, but also to act as one of the most effective change agents, is one of the transformational leadership competencies that businesses may benefit from.

It is simpler for them than for other types of leaders to persuade their team to be enthusiastic and supportive of a change because of the respect and devotion they have earned.

Builders of leaders

Builders of leaders

Those that practice transformational leadership care about the people they are leading and will put out the effort to help them hone their leadership abilities. As a result, many transformational leaders develop additional outstanding leaders inside the company.

Promote honesty and morality

The willingness to “do the right thing” and openness to their team are two characteristics of transformational leadership. Their team picks up on their openness and high ethical standards, which can be advantageous for a company.

Enhance Staff Morale

These people exhibit transformative leadership in a loving and charismatic manner that maintains high employee morale. People enjoy coming to work for this kind of leader because they feel respected. A positive work environment lowers employee turnover and boosts output.

Workers Are Free to Invent

The tenets of transformational leadership allow for the freedom for employees to create new, more effective work methods. If the staff wasn’t allowed that independence, the organization might never have experienced these significant improvements. When it comes to building a dynamic organization with motivated and inspired staff, transformational leadership is crucial. 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: