Before we are going to identify the four elements of Transformational Leadership, we first need to have a clear understanding of what exactly is Transformational Leadership. A Transformational Leadership is a style of leadership where leaders inspire, encourage employees to change for the better of an organization. The key here is the word “Transform”. So, in another word, Transformational Leadership is a leadership style that focus mainly on transforming subordinates.
The Different Between Transactional Leadership & Transformational Leadership:
Again, the keys here are the word “Transactional” and “Transformational”. Transactional here simply means exchange. Thus, transactional leadership refers to a leadership type that focus on the exchange – exchange of manpower from employees with incentives from employers. On the other hand, Transformational Leadership is all about transforming – transforming all employees to have one united vision in working toward organizational goals. This is why, most of the time, Transactional Leadership is used to lead front-line workers while Transactional Leadership is used to inspire and encourage middle to top management.
Four Elements of Transformational Leadership
According to industrial psychologist Bernard Bass, here are four elements of Transformational Leadership:
Idealized Influence of Leaders
In this element, there should be a leader who is strong and great. Leader should be considered as positive role model for everybody. On top of that, leader need to be reliable which can be depends on and somehow become ideal for all subordinates. Leader should never order his or her subordinates to do anything that he or she would not do and should never make empty promise or say one thing and doing others. By being and ideal and reliable leader, it creates trust and confidence between leader and followers.
In order to be a good transformational leader, one must have a full ability to inspire and motivate subordinates. Leader must be able to provide a clear set of goals and a clear path toward those goals. In this aspect, leader need to have a very firm authority in advising followers as well as good communication skill to be able to communicate his or her purpose to followers.
This is when leader need to think of individual follower. It is mainly about the needs, wants, preference, and situation of each follower. By making it more personal, a relationship between leader and follower can be strengthen.
In this element, leader is required to motivate and push followers to challenge for innovation and be creative. This can be done by providing more autonomy to followers such as giving them more freedom in raising new ideas and making decisions. On a side note, some people believe that transformational leaders are soft, however transformational leaders should never be soft. Instead thy should be challenging their subordinates on every move for the growth of the organization.