Transactional versus transformational Leadership ?

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Transactional versus transformational Leadership ?

What is the best way to lead a company ? There are many ways to that, but most leadership styles tend to be either transactional or transformative.

Transactional Leadership is as the name implies, a transaction. Buying and selling. An arrangement that you have. If you do this I will give you that. I will pay you a salary for working for me. It involves processes and control.  We get involved with this type of leadership a great deal. Transformational Leadership on the other hand is a full cycle type of leadership. Think about it as a continuum, not an either or. It is not that you are transactional or transformational. You don’t have to choose. Think of it as a continuum. It starts with transactional and continues with transformational. Based on specific situations and what is happening at your work place you may move back and forth between transactional and transformational leadership styles a lot.

The fundamental behavioural components of transformational Leadership. 

Transformational Leadership is a process that changes and transforms people. It takes into account emotions, values, ethics, standards and long term goals. It involves seeing people as full human beings and not as tools to use to get what you want. Who wouldn’t want to be led by someone like that ? 

  •  Idealized influence: Behaving in such way as a leader that other people want to emulate. People want to be like opera, like Elon musk. You become like a role model to your team. They know they can count on you when they are lost or in doubt. You have to work hard and set a positive example for everyone to be a role model.

          Who wants to work like you or do things the way you do them ?

  • Inspirational motivation:  An individual who can inspire certain action and behaviour. Sharing your compelling vision as an organization that sparks genuine interest in other people ready to join in. Your vision should highlight what you want to do, what problem you are solving and how you are going to go about solving them. This is how we are going to do it. Par exemple “We have a vision as an organization that is awesome. This is how we are going to do it. We are solving a specific problem and this is how we are making the world a better place. “
  • Intellectual stimulation: The leader recognises that people have talents and abilities. So you don’t say this is what we should do, but you trust the creativity of your team to dream. They feel important. Their opinion is valued. Leaders can reach peak peformance when they consider the intellect of the people they work it.
  • Individualized consideration: Interested in knowing people. Understanding what kind of talents they have, and putting people in positions they can thrive.  Knowing what is going on in the life of your team. You act as a coach in this regard.

Transactional Leadership is not a bad thing, there are times when we need that. You don’t need transformation when the roof is on fire. Think about things as a continuum. Based on the situation, we can chose to be transactional or transformational.

Developing these leadership styles is not easy, but it gets better when you try. You can get your team to do great work when you use a mix of the two. You can inspire immense productivity and allow your team to operate at peak performance.


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