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Transformational Leadership

Updated on February 22, 2010

Transformational Leadership - what is it?

Transformational Leadership is a term coined by James MacGregor Burns in 1978 in his descriptive research on political leaders, but the term is now widely used in organisational psychology and manager development training and coaching.

Transformational leadership works best in situations where changes are being made or need to be made in order to improve productivity, performance or profit.

We use a 6 point module to describe how this form of leadership works:

1. The leader develops a charismatic vision which is designed to give meaning to the work that needs to be done.

2. The team is then inspired by empathetic communication. By this we mean highly personal communication that means a lot to the followers with whom the leader is communicating.

3. As belief in the vision grows and the relationship between the leader and his/her team improves, gets warmer and closer, so mutual confidence and trust grow.

4. The team start to use innovation and creativity to solve problems. So the onus is not just on the leader to do all the thinking, but others come forward with ideas and suggestions.

5. As people start to feel more involved and to take resonosibility for outcomes so their individual output increases.

6. At the end of the process output and profit improves.

Please visit my website to learn more about transformational leadership.

Transformational Leadership
Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership - how it works

When we are using transformational leadership coaching to develop leaders we work on six fundamentals. Our aim is to develop leadership styles in the managers we are working with. The aim is to get each potential leader to master the arts of:

1. Developing a charismatic vision that will inspire the members of his/her team.

2. Communicating in ways that inspires and motivates others.

3. Encouraging others to use their creativity to produce ideas and to innovate.

4. Stimulating the intellect within others to make them think of solutions and strategies.

5. Coaching their followers when they get stuck or find situations difficult to cope with.

6. All of this is done with the ultimate aim of improving productivity and profitablity.

On my website there is more information about the workings of transformational leadership.

Transformational Leadership
Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership Explained

I just wrote this very short and crisp explanation of what transformational leadership is and why it is so important:

"Transformational Leadership is the ability to create and transmit a charismatic vision that runs through an organisation like an electric current, inspiring and energising the thoughts, ideas and actions of the people and thereby elevating their performance."

To Find Out More About The Transformational Leadership Coaching Programme

If any of your leaders are suffering from "signs that they would benefit from Transformational Leadership Development Coaching", please visit our transformational leadership website.

The Communication Cycle
The Communication Cycle

The Communication Cycle Transforms Leadership Styles

You Can Be Transformed by The Communication Cycle

The Communication Cycle is at the epicentre of the behaviour of transformational leaders.

Simply by mastering the 6 basic steps of the communication cycle your capabilities as a leader; in any organization whether it be government, business or education, in any situation will improve dramatically.

The six steps are not difficult, all you need to do is practice the thoroughly implementing each step until it becomes your natural behaviour.

Step 1. Aim - Consider the response you want to elicit and from whom. This is a matter of making them feel that they want to do as you suggest, rather than telling them.

Place yourself in their position, what to they want, desire or need that will place them in a good frame of mind to receive your message favourably?

Step 2. Compose - start by reminding people, wherever and whenever practical, of the organisation's overarching vision. Then create a new, interlocking vision of the outcome you want to achieve.

Step 3. Transmit - Take care with your timing, it is all-important. Consider the workload and frame of mind of the recipient before deciding when to transmit your message.

Before you hit the "send" button allow yourself time to reconsider what you are saying and the effect that your words and actions may have on the recipient. Could you say anything in a way better calculated to cause the reaction you desire?

Step 4. Feedback - Get in the habit of seeking feedback from everyone who is involved in the communication cycle.

When you consider feedback as you are composing your message it will cause you to think through what you are communicating more thoroughly and really consider the responses and reactions that your message will elicit.

Step 5. Analyse/Learn/Change - This is where you suck the value from the feedback. You now have the opportunity to carefully analyse and really learn from the results that you created and also consider the way you communicate.

Step 6. Improve - When the American Business Lecturer and Consultant W. Edwards Deming went to Japan just after the second world war he created a culture of improvement amongst the Japanese business community. His teaching eventually became known as Kaizen (focus on continuous improvement).

The Communication Cycle now offers you the chance to focus on continuous and never-ending improvement in your communications, so that you become a highly effective communicator and thus a practitioner of the transformational leadership style.

Please leave your comments about transformational leadership and the articles on this lens so that we can provide more and useful information that we know you want.

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    • profile image

      mdeakub 5 years ago

      Good post. Insightful. Thanks.

      My lens on same topics is Transformational leaders ~ 3 Greats

    • profile image

      mdeakub 5 years ago

      Thanks for the excellent post. It's a very good & informative one.

      For a few  years, I am learning & working on the topic, Transformational leadership. Quite a lot of leaders in the human history have demonstrated exceptional success in transforming human life, work, economy, philosophy and above all well-being. I have recently analyzing some transformational leaders, their successes, traits and the secrets of their being of such kind of leaders.

      My blog on this topic is Transformational leaders ~ 3 Greats . Here I have described the leadership of 3 great leaders. This list should be a bigger even. I have selected them not based on any category but on total impact of their leadership on their followers and the society or the community or even the world they lived in.

      I think, transformational leaders need not to be a ruler or army chief or sectarian leader. Rather from the history of business, religion, technology we see a good number of individuals who marked their steps in this hall of fame. One thing is common in all transformational leaders, they are peopleâs leaders and they worked for collective well being and they succeed as a whole.

    • guyfarmer profile image

      guyfarmer 7 years ago

      Thank you for your insights. I've also found it helpful to make leadership about helping employees realize their vision and use their talents and abilities. People tend to perform better when they feel fulfilled and valued in the workplace. I like the idea of leadership that transforms the workplace in a positive way for everyone.