Good leadership keeps organizations together and delivers on expected goals, but transformative leadership looks to do much more than that. Continue reading to find out who these charismatic leaders are and learn more about the foundation of this leadership style. Start applying these principles and techniques in your own groups and extra-curricular activities. One day, you can be a transformative leader, too!
Transformative Leadership | Understanding the Backbone
In This Article:
The Teachers in Transforming Leadership
Those lucky enough to learn under a transformative leader get to work with someone striving to impact the world around them in a positive way. A transformative leader inspires those around them to always give their best.
Transformational leaders from the past include Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Henry Ford. They used their different paths to deliver lasting change that still impacts the present. Some view leaders like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Reed Hastings of Netflix in the same way.
All of them made permanent changes to both the daily lives of people across the world and the business models for their industries. They did it by believing in their vision and getting others to do the same, driving them to the top.
The question is, what is the basis for this style of leadership? Let’s take a moment to go over some common principles followed, in their own unique ways, by all kinds of transformational leaders. We hope you take them to heart and use them to guide you on your own path in life.
Defining Transformational Leadership
The transformational leadership style relies on encouragement, persuasion, and motivation. Successfully using this style means inspiring others to buy into your vision. You must convince them of your own sincerity and be a living demonstration of what you want them to aspire to be.
Most transformational leaders show a willingness to communicate, discourage self-interest in their team, and set clear standards to follow. The persistence of this leadership style throughout time is due to its ability to adapt to almost any type of industry.
The Basic Elements of Transformational Leadership
Bernard Bass, Ph.D., refined the concept of transformational leadership by creating four core principles, referred to as the 4I Model:
1. Idealized Influence
This means a transformational leader should serve as a role model to those around them. They take risks, show moral fortitude, and remain consistent in their actions.
2. Inspirational Motivation
This concept refers to how people find motivation from those viewed as transformative. The leaders bring them toward the shared goal and show them how to move forward. The team members clearly understand their leader’s expectations for them, and they share the commitment of the leader in achieving the goals.
3. Intellectual Stimulation
This component covers a transformational leader’s willingness to include those around him in the decision-making process and in coming up with problem-solving resolutions. They ask those around them to provide alternatives not yet considered and to challenge any common assumption around the work they’re doing.
4. Individualized Consideration
This phase of the model covers the way transformational leaders make it a point to act as a guide to those working with them. The transformational leader treats every person as unique with their own needs and dreams. These things help them ensure their other team members are successful and capable.
Putting Transformative Leadership into Practice
A lack of micro-management is one of the most common traits found in those practicing transformative leadership. These leaders trust they’ve picked the right person for the task and expect them to deliver with little oversight.
A transformative leader inspires team members to use their imagination and feel empowered to trust in their talents.
A good example is when you join the Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. In this program, you will meet a lot of transformational leaders who are only a little older than your age. They will guide you throughout the mentorship process. Depending on what you gain from the experience, you can be like them in the future too.
What to Keep in Mind with Transformative Leadership
It takes more than a new idea to be successful. Your enthusiasm won’t be enough to make up for the failure to do proper research on your goal or project or the problem you’re trying to solve. Therefore, it is important transformative leaders stock their team with the type of people skilled in focusing on details. This frees them up to focus on the more creative aspects of what’s being done.
How to Prepare for Transformative Leadership
One of the best ways to educate yourself about this style is to research those who’ve applied it successfully. Don’t limit yourself to those in your own field of interest. You can learn from watching others apply the skills you’d like to have in different areas.
While this leadership style doesn’t require a special degree, you can do research and find different courses designed to reinforce applying this style of leadership to different career paths.
How is transformational leadership different from transactional leadership? This video from Train in a Day should help:
Continue working toward the idea of transformative leadership. You don’t need to lead a huge team in order to use this style to great effect. Remember to remain flexible and open to new ways of thinking!
Who are the people who fit the description of transformative leadership? Share your list below!
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