Have you ever been a part of a group where someone takes charge efficiently, set out a clear vision, goal, and plan for the group, and is always motivating other members? If so, then you would know how pleasant it is to work with these kinds of people. They are what industrial psychologists call transformational leaders.
James McGregor Burns first wrote about this style of leadership in his 1978 book called “Leadership”. The concept he introduced was further explored and developed by Bernard M. Bass in his Transformational Leadership Theory.
Transformational leadership style is considered the best out of all the different leadership styles
Throughout history, leaders all over the world who have adopted this method have been not only successful in achieving their goals. Thus, they have been widely loved by the public or members of their own team. Transformational leadership is the complete opposite of transactional leadership.
The 44th US President Barack Obama and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are perfect examples of transformational leaders. They tick almost, if not all the boxes. Obama was and is still loved by the people of America. He was charismatic, inspiring, encouraging, and accepting. His election campaign alone that focused on “change” was indicative of transformational leadership, where positive change was always embraced.
Mark Zuckerberg is no stranger to public admiration. He is said to cultivate a healthy, open, and positive work culture within his company. Employees are always energized and motivated by him, and they are encouraged to share their feelings, and what troubles them.
Characteristics of a transformational leader
The above is a glimpse into what being a transformational leader is like. Here, we offer a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the qualities that make transformational leaders so inspiring.
1. Transformational leaders encourage creativity and independent thinking
As opposed to transactional leaders, transformational leaders support and encourage thinking out of the box and being creative. They are accepting of new ideas not only from themselves but also from their followers. These people understand the importance of teamwork to be successful.
They constantly encourage and motivate their followers to think creatively and come up with new ideas, and even implement these ideas while making decisions. This involvement from the followers boosts their confidence and happiness, which in turn leads to more productivity.
2. Transformational leaders understand followers on a personal level
Transformational leaders make efforts to get to know their followers personally. They aim to lend their support and encouragement to their needs and causes. They even encourage a relationship that goes beyond a professional one within their company.
This way, all members can really get to know each other, feeling towards each other will be reduced, and a culture that is healthy and open is cultivated. It makes it easier for members to approach their follower with new ideas and suggestions. The leader, in turn, gives each member the recognition they deserve.
3. Transformational leaders are confident and self-reliant
Transformational leaders trust themselves and are self-reliant. Usually, they don’t need guidance and direction from other people, but they are always open to suggestions. Leaders are confident enough to take risks that they believe will benefit the group and trust themselves to make well-informed decisions in difficult situations.
They do not let others’ perception of them get in the way of achieving the goals and vision of the group, which is in alignment with their own goals. Leaders are motivated intrinsically, and this internal motivation is passed on to their followers as well.
4. Transformational leaders have a clear and realistic vision
Transformational leaders guide and lead a group with a clear, realistic, and achievable vision in mind. This vision is also shared by all members of the group, and they work hard to make sure it is achieved.
As transformational leaders are extremely passionate and motivated, they help their followers to brew up the same amount of enthusiasm and commitment so that they may all work together in tune to fulfill their collective goals.
5. Transformational leaders bring about positive change
Leaders have the charisma to inspire and bring about positive changes within their organization as well as within their followers. Most followers gain a new sense of purpose if led in the right direction.
Transformational leaders are always open to new ideas and independent thinking. They are also open to embracing a positive change that will benefit the group and aid them in achieving their goals. Transformational leaders highly benefit from the absence of a strict and rigid structure and culture.
6. Transformational leaders are role models
Given the numerous positive qualities of transformational leaders, it is no surprise that followers look up to them and they serve as people’s role model. It makes it even more important that they have strong values and morals as people tend to emulate them.
Followers highly respect and place their trust in transformational leaders. This makes it easy for them to internalize and accept their ideals and vision.
7. Transformational leaders get into action
People are no strangers to empty promises made by leaders. But what makes transformational leaders stand out is that they are an embodiment of the saying “Action speaks louder than words”.
They make promises to their followers, and they give their all to make sure that they keep these promises. Transformational leaders follow through on their words, which makes it easier for followers to place their trust in these kinds of leaders.
Gaurav Rajput is a passionate blogger and love to write about several topics like Health & Fitness, Home décor, Technology and many more niches. He always loves to share his blogger resources.
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