Leaders must be able to adapt to changing circumstances. Transformational leadership is an approach to leading others that causes change in individual and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change with the end goal of developing followers into leaders.
Transformational leadership creates important, positive change in the workplace. It’s grounded in the belief that inspiring others to focus on the greater good produces a level of excellence that exceeds results achieved by other forms of leadership. It has many benefits, and is worth considering by everyone in a position of leadership.
Types of Leadership
Transaction leadership measures performance against set standards, focuses on short-term goals and results, enables quick decision-making offers structure and direction, and appeals to the self-interest of employees. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, builds a culture of trust and mutual respect, increases transparency and open communication, instills commitment and accountability, and propels far-reaching changes.
Individuals and organizations can be successful using transactional leadership; however, its strengths are more effective for maintaining the status quo or making incremental changes rather than creating sweeping transformations. Transformational leadership, in contrast to transactional leadership, is highly effective for accomplishing major and lasting change.
The Four Components to Transformational Leadership
James Downton originated the phrase “transformational leadership,” and James MacGregor Burns expanded on it. He identified four core components of transformational leadership, which he called inspirational motivation, idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. These four components to transformational leadership are also named calling, charisma, challenge, and caring. Their definitions are below:
- Calling: Articulating a vision designed to create positive change that resonates with followers.
- Charisma: Connecting with followers through words and actions so that followers enthusiastically support the calling.
- Challenge: Encouraging followers to apply critical thinking and innovation to achieve the positive change described in the calling.
- Caring: Showing genuine concern for each individual’s needs and wants, celebrating individual accomplishments, and supporting individual growth and development.
Ways to be a Transformational Leader
In order to truly be a transformational leader, you need to carry out the four components of transformational leadership. You should identify your calling and share it with passion and purpose with others. You should be able to develop the elements of charisma and then share impactful stories with your peers and employees. You should help others engage in critical thinking and use problem solving. You should also implement ideas to encourage creativity and innovation. Finally, you should try to make personal connections with your followers and encourage their growth.
Attend HRDQ’s webinar What Makes Great Transformational Leadership? on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. EDT. This back-to-basics webinar focuses on the what – and the how – of effective leadership. You’ll learn to recognize the characteristics of effective leadership and behaviors that may undermine performance. More importantly, you’ll leave with a solid understanding of how best to develop both aspiring leaders and seasoned veterans.
Participants will learn how to carry out the four components of transformational leadership, identify their calling, develop the elements of charisma and share impactful stories with others, help others engage in critical thinking, implement ideas to encourage thinking outside of the box, and make personal connections with your people and encourage their growth. Watch the webinar here.
This webinar is based on research from HRDQ’s Transformational Leader, a training program that gives both newly emerging and experienced leaders and managers the tools and techniques for developing and refining their skills. This learning resource can help your organization retain employees and clients, make better decisions, and improve performance.
The Transformational Leader will walk you through the four components to transformational leadership – calling, charisma, challenge, and caring – allowing you to develop the skills and techniques required to make a real difference at your workplace and to inspire others to work toward a shared vision of positive change. View the course here!