What is Transformational Leadership? An Explanation in 5 Tips

Imagine a workplace where the leadership is on the same level as the employees. This means listening and learning, and constantly redeveloping the system to find solutions to challenges. Many would say the ideal workplace is one where the leadership understands the problems and challenges the workers face. They take the time to help change the system from within to create working solutions. So they might be working in transformational leadership.

When employees, volunteers, and group members feel that their experiences and concerns shape their working environment, they perform better. Performance is nothing without reward. Also, the reward all workers want is a return on their concerns and opinions.

what is transformational leadership

What Is Transformational Leadership?

The concept of transformational leadership has been around since the 1970s when sociologist James V. Downton first used the term. What is transformational leadership? It is the basic principle of leadership from within. Transformational leadership seeks to:

  • Discover the challenges within an organization;
  • Rework the system to make it fit the challenges;
  • Promote an environment where the employees or members of the organization feel that attention to their concerns develop results.

Transformational leaders put their focus on what the employees, volunteers, or members of an organization need to do their best work. This style of leadership breaks the mold of transactional leadership. This is where leaders have a prescribed system that the workers must adhere to. Transformational leadership seeks to meet the goal based on the essential needs of the workers, which then develop the system.

Who Uses Transformational Leadership?

A leader at any level in a company or organization can utilize transformational leadership. However, the most likely to use the leadership style will be direct team managers. The immediate reporting manager will be the most in touch with their team, which allows a natural transition to leading from within.

The transformational has a better understanding of their team. So the struggles they face in meeting organization goals. This results in more efficient development of the plans and systems needed for the workers to meet the goal. Since all organizations are results oriented by nature, it makes sense to form the best route to achieving the results. This way the people who know the best route are the people doing the daily work.

Ways in Which Transformational Leadership Can Help Your Business

The transformational leader may not have the typical office, set away from the rest of the work force. These leaders are more likely to have a desk within the hub of the work itself. This is to be able to fully understand the challenges and needs of employees.

It may be necessary to frequently ask, What is transformational leadership?

  • Transformational leadership is not a lazy style of management. In fact, transformational leaders are more involved in the daily work of the organization. They do more work than managers sitting in an office, directing from afar.
  • Also, transformational leaders lead by example, by working alongside their team. By partaking in the work and being available during the work day to assist with any problems that might arise, the transformational leader truly understands the needs of the team.
  • Your team will feel respected and honored for their work, ideas, and problem-solving skills. They will develop a stronger work ethic and take more ownership in the end-result – meeting your company goal.

5 Tips for Using Transformational Leadership Efficiently

1. Build a Strong Rapport with Your Team

You must know what you are transforming. Remember, keep asking what is transformational leadership? This leadership style is all about change from within. You need to know your workers to understand their struggles.

2. Prepare to Accommodate Needs

Perhaps your best employee is a single mother, or a disabled veteran. How can you effectively meet their needs so they can perform at their best? What is transformational leadership in this case? It is changing the way a person can do their job to meet the needs of the company.

Can that single mom work from home and check in every hour via video conference? Does the disabled vet have a desk specifically made for someone in a wheelchair?

3. Maintain Balance

Yes, you will be more active in your team than a traditional or transactional leader. But it is still important to maintain the role of leader. You must find a balance between being part of the team and leading it.

What is transformational leadership here? It is guiding and coaching your team. But it is not doing the work for them.

4. Whiteboards Are Your Friend

When making a big change in leadership styles, it is important to keep the goals and the new paths you are creating on track. Again, what is transformational leadership? It is meeting goals by creating new ways to accomplish daily tasks based on the essential needs of your workers.

Remove any confusion by always having the goal on a large whiteboard. You can add or remove ideas and team instruction to this board any time so that everyone is on the same page.

Transformational Leadership

5. Don’t be Afraid to Say No

Transformational leadership isn’t about being a yes man. You do not need to (and you shouldn’t) agree to every suggested change in the workplace. What is transformational leadership? It is discovering the needs of the group and making decisions based on your findings to better the ability of the team to meet the goal.

You are still an authority. You still have someone to answer to, whether that is your customer, the owner, or the board. You are responsible for the team. So always take into consideration your guidelines from above and make your choices for change results-based.

Empowering the Team

At the end of the day, you are responsible for your team and their end results. How do you see yourself utilizing transformational leadership to meet goals in your organization?

Do you have experience with transitioning to a transformational leadership style? We would love to hear about your results. Leave us a note in the comments!

Images: depositphotos.com.