Leadership Styles- Transformational Leader

Posted on March 10, 2010


Team Leadership, photo from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

A transformational leader is the opposite of a transactional leader. A transformational leader is one who motivates his team by inspiring loyalty and confidence in them. He takes the operations of the team to greater heights by working on the units that run the operations- people.

A transformational leader works his team through inspiration and persuasion. Rather than using the carrot-and-stick method of motivation, the transformational leader chooses to persuade his team to follow him via inspiring the team to gain confidence in him and themselves, allowing them to willingly commit to his cause and stand by him. This is often seen in charismatic war heroes in the movies such as Alexander the Great or Aaragon from the Lord of the Rings who yell an empowering war cry after a heartwarming speech and lead their men into battle. Besides requiring charisma and persuasion skills, transformational leadership also often requires the leader or manager to lead by example. It is through their action that they touch the hearts of their followers, and it is the strength of this faith that they create that makes their follower hold firm and loyal in the face of adversity.

A transformational leader is far sighted in terms of operations. Rather than being too caught up in the day-to-day affairs, the transformational leader looks beyond to concern himself with larger issues such as team dynamics, visioning, goals setting and people development.

People development in particular. A transformational leader is always concerned with developing his team. He looks at tasks as opportunities to develop his team members rather than as jobs for them to complete. He sees the development and growth of each and every team member as his obligation and will go out of his way to ensure that they are always in the process of growth and learning.

This also makes transformational leadership process oriented. As a transformational leader is more focused on development rather than results, he would place a much larger emphasis on a value-added process rather than a good outcome. This mean to say, a transformational leader would rather put a weak member for the job, knowing that it would be a beneficial experience for him but may be detrimental to the results, and not put a top player for the job, knowing that it’ll produce the best results but not really benefit him.

Many famous politicians are transformational leaders. Via the skill of persuasion, they have united nations and inspired faith. Examples include Winston Churchill and ‘V for victory’, President Obama and ‘Hope we can belief in’. War leaders may also have to be transformational in nature as it requires strong commitment and loyalty to be inspired in soldiers to have them pick up their arms to fight even in the face of death.

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