What type of leadership most resembles transformational leadership?

Transformational leadership is a leadership theory in which a leader works with teams or followers beyond their immediate self-interest to identify needed change, creating a vision to guide change through influence, inspiration and execution of change in conjunction with committed members of a group; this shift in self-interest raises followers' levels of maturity and ideals, as well as their concerns for achievement. It is an integral part of the Full Range Leadership Model. Transformational leadership is when the leader's behaviours influence followers and inspire them to perform beyond their perceived capabilities. Transformational leadership inspires people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results.

It gives workers autonomy over specific jobs, as well as the authority to make decisions once they have been trained. This induces positive change in the attitudes of followers and the organisation as a whole. Transformational leaders typically perform four distinct behaviours, also known as the four I's. These behaviours are inspirational motivation, inspirational motivation and inspirational leadership.

These behaviours are inspirational motivation, idealised influence, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration. Bass (198 , extended Burns' (197 ) work by explaining the psychological mechanisms underlying transformational and transactional leadership. Bass introduced the term transformational instead of transformational. Bass extended Burns' (197) initial concepts to help explain how transformational leadership can be measured, as well as the impact it has on follower motivation and performance.

The degree to which a leader is transformational is measured first and foremost in terms of his or her influence on followers. The followers of such a leader feel trust, admiration, loyalty and respect for the leader and, because of the qualities of the transformational leader, are willing to work harder than originally expected. These results occur because the transformational leader offers followers more than just working for their own benefit; he or she provides them with an inspiring mission and vision and gives them an identity. The leader transforms and motivates followers through idealised influence, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration.

In addition, this leader encourages followers to devise new and unique ways to challenge the status quo and to alter the environment to promote success. Finally, in contrast to Burns, Bass suggested that leadership can simultaneously exhibit both transformational and transactional leadership. Transformational leadership is said to occur when engagement in a group results in leaders and followers lifting each other to higher levels of motivation and morale. It is not enough to make the right choice, but to make the moral choice.

Simply put, a transformational leader is unselfish and sees an opportunity for growth in others. Transformational leadership enhances intellectual stimulation through employee training and development. Five broad personality traits have been identified as factors that contribute to the likelihood of an individual exhibiting the characteristics of a transformational leader. The emphasis on the different elements of these traits points to the personality's inclination towards inspirational leadership, transactional leadership and transformational leadership.

These five traits are as follows. The two main characteristics of extraverts are affiliation and agency, which relate to the social and leadership aspects of their personality, respectively. Extraversion is generally regarded as an inspirational trait that is often exhibited in transformational leadership. Neuroticism often leads to productivity-related anxiety in the individual which, in a group setting, can be debilitating to the extent that the individual is unlikely to be placed in a transformational leadership role due to lower self-esteem and a tendency to shirk leadership responsibilities.

Creative expression and emotional responsiveness have been linked to a general tendency to be open to experience. This trait is also considered a component of transformational leadership, as it relates to the ability to provide far-reaching visionary leadership for an organisation. Although not a trait that specifically targets transformational leadership, leaders in general possess a congenial nature derived from a natural concern for others and high levels of individual consideration. Productivity and idealised influence is a classic capability of individuals who possess agreeableness.

A strong sense of direction and the ability to put a great deal of productive work into tasks is the by-product of conscientious leaders. This trait is more linked to a transactional form of leadership, given the management-based skills of such individuals and the detail-oriented nature of their personality. The results suggest that transformational leaders may place more importance on values that concern others than those that concern only themselves. Studies have shown that subordinates' and leaders' ratings of transformational leadership may not converge.

According to leaders' self-ratings, extraverted, intuitive and perceptive preferences favour transformational leadership. In contrast, subordinates' ratings indicated that leaders with sensitive preferences are associated with transformational leadership. One of the ways to measure transformational leadership is through the use of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), a survey that identifies different leadership characteristics from examples and provides a basis for leadership training. Initial development was limited because knowledge in this area was primitive and therefore finding good examples for the questionnaire items was difficult.

Further development of the MLQ led to the current version of the survey, the MLQ5X. As far as transformational leadership is concerned, the first 5 components - Idealised Attributes, Idealised Behaviours, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation and Individualised Consideration - are considered transformational leadership behaviours. In a laissez-faire leadership style, a person may be given a leadership position without providing leadership, leaving followers to their own devices. This gives subordinates a free hand in deciding policies and methods.

The characteristics of followers, combined with their perceptions of the leader and their own situation, seem to moderate the connection between transformational leadership and subordinates' willingness to take charge and be good citizens of the organisation. For example, if subordinates in a work group perceive their leader to be a prototype of them, then transformational leadership would have less impact on their willingness to engage in organisational citizenship behaviours. Similarly, if subordinates are goal-oriented and possess a traditional view of organisational hierarchy, they tend to be less affected by transformational leadership. Self-motivated employees are less likely to need transformational leaders to spur them into action, whereas "traditionalists tend to see positive organisational citizenship as expected given their role as followers rather than as something they need to be 'inspired to do'.

Charisma is a key ingredient of transformational leadership. Charisma refers to the charm and power to inspire, motivate and enthuse others. While transformational leadership relies on the charismatic power of the leader to achieve effectiveness, servant leaders create the same motivation and influence through the act of service, without the leader having to stand out. What can you do to become a more transformational leader? Leadership experts suggest that having a strong, positive vision of the future plays a key role.

It is not only important to believe in that vision, but also to inspire others to share it. Phipps also proposed that all dimensions of the Big Five would be positively related to transformational leadership. Another historical leadership style is transactional leadership, in which the leader offers something valuable in exchange for the follower's services. Transformational leaders also have close contact with their followers and are authentic in showing their strengths and weaknesses within the company.

The epicentre of transformational leadership is a strong and charismatic leader who leads organisations through difficult times towards an attractive future. Respondents are asked to think of a leader they work with and to rate the frequency with which the individual exhibits leadership behaviours. While transactional leadership operates within the confines of existing processes, structures and goals, transformational leadership challenges the current state and is change-oriented. Transformational leaders show individualised consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealised influence.

Together with his colleague Bruce Avolio, they developed and refined a theory and measurement of transformational leadership consisting of four main components. Nelson Mandela used the principles of transformational leadership as he worked to abolish apartheid and bring about change in South Africa. In other words, transformational leadership is the ability to get people to want to change, improve and be led. A transformational leader who fails to charm his or her followers often resorts to transactional leadership.

A score for transformational leadership was then determined based on qualities such as providing intellectual stimulation, giving positive feedback for good performance, leading by example and helping employees feel they are making a contribution to the group's goals. Transformational leaders do one thing that transactional leaders do not do, which is to go beyond self-actualisation.

Jason Klingler
Jason Klingler

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