Transformational Leadership
Transforming Your Business From the Inside Out

Transformational Leadership / Uplifting the Troops

Each and every small or medium business needs proper management to achieve their desired goals. Without a sound, energetic and dedicated team a business will never sustain for long. Learning effective leadership skills is not an option. In today's economic and competitive climate a business must have a strong leader to see the business through the thick and thin.

According to Hesselbein and Cohen (1999, p. 263), "organizations that take the time to teach leadership are far ahead of the competition."

On this page we will review some leadership theories which are contemporary and result-oriented. Among them transformational leadership. Working with entrepreneurs skilled in this type of leadership is a wonderful and uplifting experience for all concerned.

Transformational Leadership / Igniting Passions and Enthusiasm

According to this theory, leaders inspire the team, injecting enthusiasm and energy. And this leads to things getting done. Leaders have vision and passion to do great things. They constantly sell the vision and show how it can be accomplished. They are forefront fighters and never hide themselves behind the troops. They are people oriented.

Transformational Leadership / The Process

Foresight development: Leaders start giving the vision of future and excite the followers. The achievement of foresight may be done by leader, by senior team members or by series of group discussion.

Infusing the vision: This is a constant process but is a significant step after vision development. This requires energy and commitment as followers have different abilities and attitudes towards the idea. The vital part the leader at this juncture is to create trust.

Explore the way forward: Many leaders have knowledge of the course taken next and they guide easily. Some simply have a direction and take calculated risks to explore the successful possibilities.

Leading the charge: At this final stage the leader prefers to put himself ahead of the others. By his attitudes and actions the leader constantly motivates the team. Their deep commitment towards the goal brings people to the lighter area during the adverse situations.

There are three schools of thoughts prevail for the transformational theory:

Bass’s Transformational Leadership theory: It is based on assumptions that:

1. Awareness of task

2. Recognizition of the importance

3. Focus on team or organization

These 3 points produce better work and good motivational factors.

Bass in 1998 noted that authentic transformational leadership is grounded in moral foundations that are based on four components:

  • Idealized influence: The managers with a capacity to be an exemplary role model for the team.

  • Inspirational motivation: Leaders motivate people by communicating optimism for their goal and give meaning to the tasks. People get a sense of purpose. Purpose and meaning are sources of energy. That’s why this kind of motivation is called inspirational motivatios.

  • Intellectual stimulation: With their acquired knowledge and intelligence, leaders become capable to challenge the assumptions of people and provide the continued guidance. Theu also push the limits and take calculated risks for a given task. This process stimulates people to follow the carved paths of such leaders.

  • Individualized consideration: The role of leader further specifies him as a mentor at an individual level - one who gives personal attention, space and accolades to the team members.

...and three moral aspects:

  • The moral character of the leader.

  • The ethical values embedded in the leader’s vision, articulation, and program (which followers either embrace or reject).

  • The morality of the processes of social ethical choice and action that leaders and followers engage in and collectively pursue.

Burn’s Transformational Leadership theory: Social and spiritual levels are great motivational factors. It gives people an uplifting sense of being connected for higher purposes and a sense of meaning and identity.

Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Participation Inventory: James Kouzes and Barry Posner create a list of the characteristics of the leader based on the survey of more than 75,000 people. The list consists following characteristics:

  • Honest
  • Forward-looking
  • Competent
  • Inspiring
  • Intelligent
  • Fair-minded
  • Broad-minded
  • Supportive
  • Straightforward
  • Dependable
  • Cooperative
  • Determined
  • Imaginative
  • Ambitious
  • Courageous
  • Caring
  • Mature
  • Loyal
  • Self-controlled
  • Independent

According to Northouse (2001), a transformational leader has the following qualities:

  • Empowers followers to do what is best for the organization

  • Strong role model with high values

  • Listens to all viewpoints to develop a spirit of cooperation

  • Creates a vision, using people in the organization

  • Acts as a change agent within the organization by setting an example of how to initiate and implement change

  • Helps the organization by helping others contribute to the organization.

Transformational Leadership / References

Hesselbein, Frances, and Paul M. Cohen. (1999). Leader to Leader. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Northouse, Peter G. (2001). Leadership Theory and Practice, second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Thank you for visiting the qualities of leadership page. For more information on leadership and how you can learn from successful entrepreneurs follow these links:

Leadership Styles

Define Leadership

Leadership Qualities

Situational Leadership

Leadership Theories

Read some Success Stories of Entrepreneurs. Prepare to be inspired.

To learn about the Definition of an Entrepreneur follow this link.

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