TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Meaning, Examples, Style & Advantages

transformational leadership
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Whether you are in charge of a team, project, or meeting, you may come across and employ a variety of leadership styles throughout your career. Using a positive and inspiring approach, transformational leadership is frequently used to create a group of people, ideas, or goods. Hence, here, we’ll define transformational leadership and talk about it in the context of its advantages and disadvantages, a few of its examples, and its theory formation.

Transformational Leadership

A leader that practices transformational leadership inspires and motivates their team to bring about positive change within their organization. This leadership approach can boost team morale, encourage quick invention, improve dispute resolution, lower attrition, and build a sense of team ownership. By articulating a distinct vision of the group’s objectives, transformational leaders take charge of the issue. These individuals are capable of reviving and energizing the rest of the team due to their obvious passion for the task at hand. It focuses on assisting group members in supporting one another and giving them the encouragement, direction, and motivation they require to work hard, deliver excellent work, and remain devoted to the group. The main objectives of transformational leadership are to encourage group members’ growth, foster loyalty, and build confidence in them.

Characteristics of Transformational Leadership

But what characteristics of a transformational leader are standard? The following traits of transformational leaders are regular:

  • Able to inspire participation and communication from others
  • Ability to listen actively
  • Adaptability
  • Sincerity and authenticity
  • Creativity
  • Emotionally sensitive
  • Inspirational
  • Open-mindedness
  • Problem-solvers who are proactive
  • Self-awareness
  • Supportive
  • Ability to accept accountability

How to Become a More Transformational Leader with its Styles

Experience and training can make people transformational leaders. Reflecting on your values and leading your team in a transformational way can help you build these leadership skills. Steps to using this leadership style:

#1. Assess your Job.

Consider your beliefs and team to see if transformational leadership would help you. Certain industries prize creativity and independence. Learning to be a transformative leader may help you manage a creative team and boost their productivity.

#2. Obtain Relevant Training

Leadership training can help you improve. There are several transformational leadership courses, both academic and practical. Your employer may pay for leadership training.

#3. Know your team.

Knowing your teammates can help you adjust to their demands. Ask about their values, hobbies, and work methods. To connect, pay attention to their activities. Positive teamwork can boost your transformative leadership skills.

#4. Practice with Workers

You can use transformational leadership principles for your team after knowing about their needs. Encourage them to take initiative in their roles or approach a project differently. To promote learning, evolving, and expanding company culture, you may also want to train employees.

#5. Celebrate Success

Recognizing your team’s efforts can inspire them to improve. Praise your staff when they achieve to help them innovate and take chances, which improves your transformational leadership. To express your appreciation, arrange a couple of team events a year.

#6. Get Feedback

Leadership accountability builds a team to trust. Asking team members for input shows that you value their opinions. Being a transformational leader requires taking advice and improving.

Examples of Transformational Leadership

Identifiable individuals who are frequently used as examples of transformational leadership include:

#1. Steve Jobs

The late Apple co-founder and CEO, who was frequently hailed as a genius and a visionary, spurred a surge of creative product creation during the course of his two terms at the company. As one the examples of transformational leadership, he pushed teams to provide the most user-friendly hardware and software designs throughout Apple’s initial years. He was successful in articulating his vision for products that adhere to strict quality guidelines and are user-friendly.

#2. Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella revolutionized Microsoft after becoming its new CEO in 2014. What was once a sluggish tech titan focused on maintaining its monopoly in the market has evolved into a much more agile and open provider that moved rapidly to make its software accessible on all platforms, including those of its rivals.

#3. Jeff Bezos

When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, he revolutionized an entire industry, but that accomplishment is now but a footnote. As an internet bookseller, Amazon initially found success. Amazon quickly became the e-commerce behemoth it is today once the company started selling other goods. Other benefits have come from promoting an innovative approach-open company culture.

#4. Elon Musk

Creating a vision that a company can embrace with passion is a crucial transformational leadership skill. Elon Musk had a plan for electric cars that survived the early hardships and the verge of bankruptcy. Thus, one of the most valuable firms in the world right now is Tesla.

#5. Reed Hastings

With its eponymous service, which launched streaming in the business, Netflix’s co-founder and co-CEO contributed to a permanent revolution in the entertainment sector. The business first offered DVD (digital video disc) shipping for a monthly cost before switching to streaming. Netflix expanded under Hastings’ direction from a distribution business to a significant producer of original content.

Theory of Transformational Leadership

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

#1. Inspirational Motivation

The promotion of a consistent vision, mission, and set of values to the members is the cornerstone of transformative leadership. They are so committed to their goal that they are clear about what they want from every engagement. Transformative leaders inspire followers by giving them a feeling of purpose and difficulty. They strive to promote a culture of commitment and teamwork with vigor and optimism.

#2. Intellectual Stimulation

Great leaders inspire creativity and innovation in those who follow them. They support new suggestions from their followers and never publicly fault them for their errors. Leaders concentrate on the “what” of issues rather than the assigning of blame. If a long-standing custom they established turns out to be useless, they have no qualms about abandoning it.

#3. Idealized Influence

They adhere to the notion that a leader can only sway subordinates when he lives according to his ideals. Leaders serve as examples for followers to follow. Such leaders consistently earn their followers’ respect and trust through their deeds. Typically, they prioritize the needs of their followers over their own, give up their own interests in favor of them, and act in an ethical manner. Such leaders use their position of authority in an effort to persuade their followers to work toward the organization’s common objectives.

#4. Individualized Consideration

Leaders coach their followers and give them praise for their originality and ingenuity. Several approaches are taken with the followers based on their skills and knowledge. They have the authority to make judgments and are constantly given the assistance they need to carry those decisions through.

Criticisms of Transformational Leadership Theory

  • Because transformational leadership uses impression management, it encourages leaders to promote themselves immorally. 
  • The theory is exceedingly challenging to teach or train because it combines many different leadership theories.
  • 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 such a committed staff, it will undoubtedly be beneficial to think about putting some effort into building strategies for changing the organization through leadership.

Transformational Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

Transformational leadership has advantages and disadvantages to look out for. Let us start with the advantages first before going into its disadvantages.

Transformational Leadership Advantages

The following are some advantages of utilizing transformational leadership:

#1. Increase Motivation

Enhancing employee motivation is a key component of transformational leadership, which helps motivate team members to be productive and meet or exceed their objectives. Employees can be encouraged by managers either by employing internal motivators or by offering rewards or other external incentives.

#2. Maintains Integrity in the Workplace

Employees are encouraged to concentrate on present work while acting in the company’s best interests by transformational leaders’ management style. For transformational leaders, it’s crucial to have clarity, uniqueness, and core principles like honesty and integrity.

#3. Defines a Precise Vision and Objective

Setting precise objectives that carry out the vision for a business, division, team, or project is another area of focus for transformational leaders. All project team members can better comprehend the value of a project by having a clear vision for it, which can boost motivation and promote dedication.

#4. Stimulates Professional Growth

Transformational leadership promotes professional development in addition to inspiring team members to achieve project and organizational objectives. In order to advance in their jobs, employees are motivated to expand their skill sets, take on new challenges, and improve their professional talents. Team members may be more inclined to take chances and embrace challenges that foster personal and professional development if they sense their leaders are rooting for them.

#5. Enhances Loyalty and Cuts Down on Turnover

Making their team members feel important and valued is a hallmark of transformational leaders. They encourage them to feel committed to supporting the success of the business, engaged, and empowered. Employee loyalty may be higher among those who feel appreciated at work and who see how their efforts help the company achieve its objectives.

#6. Makes Communication Better

Transformative management style leaders promote open communication among team members and between subordinates and employees. When laying out their expectations with team members, they could set an excellent example and use effective communication techniques.

Disadvantages of Transformational Leadership

Following are some disadvantages of transformational leadership and ideas for overcoming them:

#1. Puts Long-Term Objectives Ahead of Immediate Ones.

As projects’ long-term aims are prioritized, transformational leadership may place less emphasis on accomplishing short-term goals. This indicates that the strategy’s approach to achieving long-term goals may be less structured. Although this permits flexibility in how teams work toward objectives, leaders might need to balance their attention by combining management techniques with transformational leadership.

#2. Raises the Risk of Burnout

Although transformational leadership encourages employee motivation, practitioners may also need to consider how members of their team can strike a healthy work-life balance. Transformational leaders push their team members to advance professionally and deliver results that are above average.

#3. Impedes Decision-Making

The decision-making process may be slowed by this leadership style because decisions require feedback from the entire team. Although getting input from each team member might offer insightful viewpoints, it might not be feasible for every choice. It may be necessary for transformative leaders to evaluate when to solicit group input and when to make decisions on their teams’ behalf.

#4. Calls for Constant Communication

It may be difficult for leaders to manage several duties to maintain continuous, effective communication, which is a requirement of transformational leadership. Transformative leadership frequently calls on leaders to maintain open lines of communication with their staff in order to provide and accept feedback.

What Is the Main Focus of Transformational Leadership?

Instead of putting the leader’s needs first, transformational leadership puts the needs of others first. Similar to servant leadership, but different from it since each style places a different emphasis on the leader.

Why Is It Called Transformational Leadership?

Transformational leaders are individuals who work to alter current beliefs, practices, and objectives in order to achieve better outcomes for the greater good.


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