Transformational Leadership Theory

Transformational leadership theory is all about change. Transformational leaders inspire others to follow a vision. They create opportunities for people to show flair and to take responsibility for new ideas.

They are often very extravert, charismatic and strategic. They see the big picture rather than the detail. They inspire great loyalty, providing they succeed. If they fail, or are seen to be hypocritical, the followers may well become disillusioned or cynical.

Transformational leadership is appropriate in fast changing situations, where people have high levels of skill and where the leader can afford to get involved in the detail.

Here my top ten skills for transformational leaders:

  1. Creating a long-term vision of success.
  2. Creating strategies and plans.
  3. Thinking creatively.
  4. Inspiring others to act in accord with the vision.
  5. Communicating direction.
  6. Facilitating change.
  7. Building consensus.
  8. Developing teams and individual talents.
  9. Driving achievement and performance.
  10. Reviewing and celebrating success.

A good start to becoming a transformational leader is to use the Success Cycle. This approach gets you thinking about the steps involved in making change happen. Coupling this with the four steps to leadership, and some skills development, will give you the framework and confidence needed.

Transformational leadership can be contrasted with "transactional leadership".

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