The New Leadership Model: Transformational Leadership Theory


Transformational leadership theory is not really about one style of leadership or another; rather it talks about leadership that makes a positive change to the environment. This environment could mean a small local community or a whole society.

Leaders that transformed the world are many, and all of them have adopted a style that is unique to their culture, and the current needs of their people.

These leaders have changed the way people think; the way people lived; or even the laws of the land that have been deemed unfair or unfavorable. Either way, they have shaped the present world because of their courage and leadership.

Some examples were like:

  • Gandhi, whose non-violent protests have caused the world to think long and hard about racial discrimination.
  • William Wilberforce fought to abolish slavery in the UK in the 19th century; and what was deemed lawful and legitimate is now deemed illegal and immoral.
  • Mark Zuckerberg changed the face of internet and the way we interacted with one another with the creation of Facebook.

Whether for good or for worse, transformational leaders have truly changed the face of the world with their work.

Becoming A Transformational Leader Means…

1. Putting other’s needs before your own

It means that you must be a selfless person. Transformational leaders value the cause they stand for as higher than their personal agendas. They gave up their personal ambition, comfort and luxury in order that the dream they envisioned may come to pass.

Such conviction from these leaders often inspire a huge following and thereby creating power for an idea and a movement. As such, many of the visions of these leaders live on long after their deaths.

2. Challenging the status quo

A transformational leader does not accept the status quo. The leader looks at the current realities and ask what can be better.

They are not satisfied with what they have at the moment. While others will see a status quo and complain about how the status quo is not perfect, a transformational leader courageously challenges it even in the face of opposition.

Many ask, “Why?”; but a transformational leader asks, “Why not?”

3. Inspiring your team

A transformational leader inspires the team with the beauty of the vision. He sees a better future and he articulates this future to the team.

The people who join the transformational leader often do so voluntarily; they are inspired by his vision too and also want to see that vision becoming reality.

4. Being a role model

Being a transformational leader means that you have to have impeccable character standards. While people do follow a vision, people do look at the person that is leading the vision.

If the leader has a hint of hypocrisy or lack of integrity, the leader will lose his credibility and cause a lot of people to walk away. This is because most people join the leader voluntarily, and they will leave if they stop trusting the leader.

The leader needs to be a role model especially in their integrity and their responsibility. The leader must be true to himself and to others and must be ready to be accountable for all actions.

Transformational leadership is a matter of choice, and a matter of years of nurturing. It will take every bit of you to become a truly inspirational, effective transformational leader!

The New Leadership Model

» Transactional leadership
Transactional Leaders practice what you would call management-by-exception and contingent reward. They set performance standards and do performance reviews for their followers.

» Charismatic leadership
Charismatic leaders have a natural ability to attract people and inspire commitment to their cause.

» Visionary leadership
Visionary leaders have the ability to see what things could be in the future, rather than what things are. Through the attractive visions that they give, they are able to draw followers to themselves.

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