Transformative leadership

Transformative leadership
Last Updated: January 5, 2023

What is transformative leadership?

Transformational leadership is a leadership style that can motivate others to make beneficial changes. Transformational leaders are usually optimistic and enthusiastic. These leaders are not just concerned and involved in the process; they are also focused on ensuring that each group member succeeds.


James MacGregor Burns, a leadership specialist, and presidential biographer were the first to establish transformative leadership. Transformational leadership, according to Burns, occurs when \"leaders and followers push one other to a greater degree of morale and motivation.\"


Transformational leaders inspire followers to shift expectations, attitudes, and motives toward common goals by leveraging their vision and personality.

What are the characteristics of transformational leadership?



Intellectual Stimulation: Transformational leaders question the current status quo and urge followers to be more creative. The leader encourages their followers to try new things and take advantage of fresh learning possibilities.


Individualized Consideration: Individual followers must also be supported and encouraged as part of transformational leadership. Transformational leaders maintain lines of communication open so that followers feel free to express ideas and so that leaders may directly acknowledge each followers unique contributions to develop supportive connections.


 Inspirational Motivation: Transformational leaders have a distinct vision that they can communicate to their followers. These leaders can also inspire their followers to have the same enthusiasm and determination to achieve their objectives.


Idealized Influence: The transformational leader serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalize their ideals.


Transactional vs transformational leadership

Transactional leadership is the polar opposite of transformational leadership in that it focuses on rewards and penalties to motivate personnel. It necessitates oversight, organization, and performance tracking. This leadership style does not attempt to be innovative. Instead, it is based on maintaining consistency and predictability over time. Errors and flaws are thoroughly investigated, with the ultimate goal of establishing efficient, routine procedures.


This approach is excellent for departments or organizations that demand routine and structure in areas where corporations seek to eliminate confusion or inefficiency. However, it does not permit innovation or long-term planning in the same manner that transformational leadership does.


On the other hand, transformational leadership promotes agile settings, particularly those with a lower chance of failure. You want the creation and maintenance of a current product to be consistent and error-free, but you also dont want future upgrades and improvements to be hampered.


What are the benefits of transformational leadership?

Transformational leaders motivate and inspire their followers to accomplish excellent results while also honing their leadership skills. By reacting to individual followers needs, empowering them, and connecting the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the wider organization, transformational leaders enable followers to grow and develop into leaders.


In an article for Psychology Today, psychologist and leadership specialist Ronald E. Riggio stated, \"Research evidence reveals that groups led by transformational leaders have higher levels of performance and satisfaction than groups led by other types of leaders.\"


The reason for this, he claims, is because transformational leaders think that their followers can achieve their full potential, causing group members to feel inspired and energized.


What can you do to improve your transformational leadership skills? According to leadership experts, having a clear, positive vision of the future is crucial. Not only must you believe in this idea yourself, but you must also encourage others to believe in it as well. Genuineness, passion, support, and trustworthiness are all qualities that will assist drive followers in supporting the groups goals.

  • Encourages followers to be motivated and grow positively.
  • Within the organization, it exemplifies moral norms and encourages others to do the same.
  • Promotes a moral workplace with clear values, priorities, and standards.
  • Encourages employees to shift from a self-serving perspective to one where they are working for the greater good.
  • Places a premium on honesty, collaboration, and open communication.
  • Allows employees to make decisions and take ownership of projects while providing coaching and mentorship.


Examples of transformational leaders?

According to Harvard Business Review, the top instances of transformative leadership were discovered by analyzing organizations on the S&P and Fortune Global 500 lists. \"New goods, services, and business models; repositioning its core business, and financial performance\" were used to evaluate these companies.


  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon: Bezos \"insider, outsider\" identity, according to Harvard Business Review, is part of what makes him a brilliant transformational leader. Through years of experience in a different field, he provided a unique viewpoint to e-commerce as someone who leapt from the banking world.

  • Reed Hastings, Netflix: Hastings and Bezos tied for first place for similar reasons. He came from the software sector, therefore he wasnt used to the television industrys pre-established process and procedure.

  • Jeff Boyd and Glenn Fogel, Priceline: Boyd and Fogel redefined travel reservations by charging lower commission fees on reservations while focusing on smaller speciality markets (inns, B&Bs, and apartments), eventually resulting in the birth of

  • Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Apple: Apple is an example of \"dual transformation,\" according to HBR: Jobs innovated on original Microsoft goods while simultaneously creating a software ecosystem. Cook has carried on Jobs goal, focusing on innovation, software, and customer loyalty.

  • Mark Bertolini, Aetna: Bertolini is known for his realistic management approach in the healthcare industry. He says his goal is to build strategies around a realistic vision of the future.

  • Kent Thiry, DaVita: According to Harvard Business Review, Thiry was able to restore a bankrupt company into a thriving business by emphasizing firm core values such as \"customer quality, teamwork, accountability, and enjoyment.\"

  • Satya Nadella, Microsoft: Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and rose through the ranks, eventually leading the companys cloud computing activities and earning the CEO post.

  • Emmanuel Faber, Danone: Faber began his career at Danone as an architect before being promoted to CEO after assisting in developing the firms mission to transform it into a sustainable health and nutrition company.

  • Heinrich Hiesinger, ThyssenKrupp: Hiesinger took over as CEO of ThyssenKrupp in 2011 and used modern types of manufacturing, such as 3D printing, to help alleviate pressure from Asian competitors in the steel industry. These \"new development sectors\" now account for 47% of the companys revenues.

Nyasha Ziwewe
This article was written by Nyasha a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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