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Transformational Versus Transactional Leadership Essay

2760 words - 12 pages


LDR550Z-Leadership and Team Development-Fall 2011


This research paper addresses various aspects of transformational and transactional leadership styles. It mainly presents a comparative overview of these leadership styles. Further, it talks about an example of each transformational and transactional leadership in real-world. This leads to mentioning various applications that each leadership style finds in today’s business. Analysis of strengths and weaknesses or potential growth areas of both leadership styles is mentioned to help in better understanding of the subject. At last, the paper concludes with some discusses if ...view middle of the document...

Usually, transformational leaders behave in such a way that tunes their followers to believe that the leader has exceptional qualities. These leaders generally gain positional powers due to their personality. Due to their charisma, transformational leaders influence their followers on an emotional level thereby developing a relationship of trust and respect.

2) Inspirational motivation
The transformational leaders inspire and motivate their followers by establishing a clear goal of achieving the follower’s needs and objectives. The leaders are admired by their followers. These leaders encourage their followers by addressing their needs and taking risks to solve their problems. They always preach optimism to their followers and keep the team spirit alive.
3) Intellectual stimulation
This quality of transformational leaders encourages creativity in their followers. They motivate the followers to approach a particular problem in a different way without condemning their ideas. They help their followers to develop new and innovative methods of approaching a problem by questioning their assumptions.
4) Individualized consideration or individualized attention
This character makes the transformational leader act as a mentor or guru. The leaders understand the need for individual attention. These leaders follow the principle of ‘managing by walking around’, where the leaders have one to one interaction with their followers or employees of the organizations and the leaders concentrate on their individual needs.

Different types of transformational leaders
Generally transformational leaders are divided into the following four types:
1. Intellectuals: These leaders visualize paths that can address everybody’s needs. They usually have a higher moral purpose and have the capability to change the society. Examples: Madison, Bentham etc.

2. Reformers: These leaders usually lead reform movements and involve enough followers to change a section of society. Examples: Grey, Alexander etc.

3. Revolutionaries: These leaders work towards changing the entire society and usually demand sacrifice from their followers. Examples: Lenin, Louis XVI etc.

4. Charismatic: These leaders carry a high image in the eyes of their followers. Their personality is very impressive and influences the follower to admire these leaders. Examples: Joan of Arc, Kennedy, Moses etc.
Also, transformational leaders need to have some skill sets like self-management skills, interpersonal communication skills ,problem-management (coaching, counseling and mentoring) skills ,consultation skills (team and organization development) , and versatility (style-shifting, role-shifting, and skill-shifting) .

Transactional Leader
According to Bass, the basis of transactional leadership is mutuality or reciprocity. Transactional leaders develop a relationship with their followers by motivating them for a reward, such as performance ratings, pay, recognition, and praise. These...

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