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Transformational Leadership - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team in Human Resources Terms Last Updated: May 22, 2024Read time:

What is Transformational Leadership?

Transformational leadership is a leadership style which leads to a transformation in the team members of a leader. Transformational leadership is how leaders transform teams or organizations by creating, communicating and modelling a vision for the organization and inspiring employees to strive for that vision. Transformational leaders are change agents who energize and direct employees to a new set of corporate values and ethics.

Importance of Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a way to ensure motivation amongst employees and team members by being a role model, inspiring them to change, promote creativity and build trust for the organization. Transformational leaders lead their team by example by helping them improve their performance, learn new skills, understanding their strengths and weaknesses and help them become stronger employees. This type of leadership is different from transactional leadership or charismatic leadership, as it helps to transform employees.

Elements of Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

The basic elements under transformational leadership which can help leader motivate and change team members are as follows:

1. Individual Mentoring: Transformational leadership is when a leader mentors or coaches a subordinate individually based on his or her skill sets. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of an employee, and the leader helps them by supporting them to improve.

2. Encourage Creativity: Transformational leadership style encourages team members to be more creative, take risks, think about new ideas etc. This enables employees to keep on thinking about new solutions which helps in achieving the overall goal of the team.

3. Inspirational Motivation: A good leader always motivates employees by inspiring them to keep on learning new skills and become stronger. Transformational leadership drives employees to understand future goals, set high standards and complete the tasks purposefully.

4. Influence by Leading: Transformational leadership approach requires a leader to lead by example by setting a high standard of values, ethics and skills to gain the trust of his or her subordinates.

Transformational Leadership steps for Leaders

There are four steps of transformational leadership which can help leaders boost employee morale.

1. Develop a strategic vision: Transformational leaders establish a vision of the company’s future state that encourages employees to achieve the objective which they didn’t think possible. It creates a purpose or super ordinate goal that energizes and unifies employees.

2. Communicate the vision: Transformational leaders communicate meaning and elevate the significance of visionary goal to employees. They frame messages around the purpose with appeal that captivates employees and other stakeholders.

3. Model the vision: Transformational leadership requires modelling the vision is walking the talk. Leaders communicate the significance and their commitment towards vision via doing activities consistent with their words.

4. Build commitment to the vision: Transformational leadership requires building commitment by involving employees in the process of shaping the organization’s vision. They keep the enthusiasm going by enacting the vision and staying on course.

Advantages of Transformational Leadership

There are several benefits of Transformational leadership over other styles. Some important advantages of transformational leadership are:

1. Keeps employees motivated as they are inspired to perform better.

2. Individual mentoring ensures team members have opportunity to learn new skills and grow.

3. Transformational leadership encourages members to be creative and do interesting work.

4. It builds trust and enhance enthusiasm within the team.

5. Transformational leadership requires leaders to explain the vision to their employees.

Disadvantages of Transformational Leadership

Despite several pros, there are also certain drawbacks of Transformational leadership. Some of them are:

1. Transformational leadership focuses on long term vision through inspiration and hence might miss the minute details.

2. Too much passion and motivation can sometimes disrupt logical thinking.

3. Transformational leaders can sometimes be bad for companies as team members are too engaged with the team leader and lose focus of company goals.

Examples of Transformational Leadership

There have been several leaders in business and politics who have shown exceptional qualities as a Transformational leader, and have helped inspire people. A few examples of transformational leadership are as follows:

1. Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela etc are all transformational leaders who have inspired and motivated people to have a common vision to being together.

2. In business, prominent names like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Ratan Tata etc have inspired people with their poise, grace and business skills.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Transformational Leadership along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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