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Leadership: Transformational Leadership Add in library

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Critically analyse how transformational leaders encourage and motivate followers to achieve higher levels of performance. Provide some practical examples of how transformational leaders have encouraged higher levels of performance amongst followers?




Leadership is a process in which the there is social influence. Many people perceive leaders as someone they could follow. It may even be someone who can guide and direct the people. Leadership is thus the organization of a group of people so as to achieve a common goal. A good leadership is necessary for an organization to survive, whereas the leaders are the persons who can make a difference between failure and success (Sadler, 2003).

Leadership is the way the leaders cope up with the changes. The leaders establish a direction by creating a vision for the future (Tracy, 2014).

Transformational leadership theory was sighted by Burns in the k=late 20th century in the year 1978, when he analyzed the political leaders. Before him the attention was given to examine the approaches of leaders, who transformed the organizations successfully (Bass and Riggio, 2006). But later it was Burns who said that transformational leadership is that in which more than one person engage in such a way that the followers and leaders raise the others to a higher level of morality and motivation.

The leadership can be diagrammatically shown as below:

Transformational Leadership

The transformational leadership is a form of leadership in which the leader has to identify the needs to change, and to guide the change by inspiring the members of the group. The transformational leaders also try to increase the motivation and the performance of the people and to arouse their morale (Hawkins, 2011). The main work of the transformational leaders is that:

  • They raise the awareness of the people.
  • They also encourage the people and their followers to look beyond the self interests of the people for the common growth of the people.
  • They also promote harmony and cooperation with in their followers.
  • The transformational leaders also try to highlight the important priorities.
  • They also create an ethical environment in the workplace.
  • Another goal of the transformational leaders is that they encourage other people and provide recognition and support.

Transformational leadership is defined as the way the followers and the leaders are able to raise the other one in term of motivation and morality. To person can become a transformational leader if the person has an inspiring vision towards the future. They must also try to deliver according to the vision of the delivery (Bass and Riggio, 2006). The transformational leaders are fitted to work with the complex groups of people at work and even at uncertain environments.

There are four components of transformational leadership they are referred as the 4 I’s. The four components are

  • Idealized Influence- this means that the leader is considered as the ideal role model of the followers. The role model needs to have high ethical behavior, they needs to gain trust and respect and instills pride.

  • Inspirational Motivation- this means that the transformational leaders need to have the ability to motivate and inspire the followers. It is also the extent to which the leaders try to articulate their vision which is inspiring and appealing to the followers. The leaders who are themselves motivated try to challenge the followers with high standards about the future goals (Transformational leadership, 2015). On the other hand the follower also needs to have a sense of purpose in order to be motivated. The followers are also motivated to put more effort in their tasks if they are optimistic and encouraged about the future and they believe in their abilities.
  • Individualized Consideration- this means that the transformational leaders shows actual concerns for the feelings and needs of their followers. The leaders provide support and empathy to the followers. It is also to be kept in mind that the leaders keep a communication process open so that they can be contacted. The leaders also put challenges to the followers. With this the leaders try to imbibe a feeling of respect as well as commemorate the contributions of the individual employees put in their works. The followers have aspiration to develop and motivation towards their tasks.
  • Intellectual Stimulation- this means that the leader often challenges the followers to be creative and innovative. Often the leaders challenge the followers to give higher level of performance. The leader also challenges the followers to take risks and even solicits the ideas of the followers. The leaders who follow this style always encourage and stimulate creativity in the works of the followers (Transformational leadership, 2015). The leaders often try to develop and nurture the ones who have the capability to think independently. The leader sees learning as value and unexpected situations as the opportunities.

Components of Transformational Leadership:

Some transformational leaders in various fields

The transformational leaders have helped to shape up individuals and followers in many cases. They also have transformed a person completely by improving his morality and motivating that person. To give examples of transformational leaders who has shaped the followers mindset and has contributed into leading them to a new direction. To name a few we can start with a very famous transformational leader, Nelson Mandela (Legacee, 2015). The person was such an influence to the people of his country that he completely changed the political arena of his country. To succeed against the implorable odds one needs to have commitment, authority, and consistency of message and mastery of communication. It was found that Nelson Mandela set an example of change and vision for the sake of his countrymen and then asked his countrymen to live to that expectation (, 2015). He fought against the racial discrimination in South Africa and was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi who was another transformational leader. His effects were so lasting that people find him inspiring and follow his shown paths. Once Mandela wanted to raise funds for a school and the grant was settled to $50000. But when the guest and Mandela reached the spot and the guest came out, 80000 black school children bowed simultaneously to acknowledge him; this made the donator to double the donation amount (Mandela and Russell, 2010). Such was the leadership power that Mandela had on the people of his country.

Though the idea about the transformational leadership is a new concept, but the concept was prevalent for several years. Like it was said by Yates that Genghis Khan, a transformational leader had in the 12th and 13th century united the independent Mongolian tribes and arranged the fiercest and the largest empire at that time. Lou Gerstner was another transformational leader. He is the retired CEO of IBM. He took over IBM in the 1993 when the company was in a financial loss of around $8.1 billion (Gerstner, 2002). He identified the problem areas and the deficiencies and he completely transformed and changed the culture of the organization. He focused on the vision of the company and focused on the decisiveness, execution and simplification of the processes of the organization to obtain speed and pace in the work. From the educational background a transformational leader is Dr. Ruth Simmons. She was the first African-American lady to be appointed as the president of the Ivy League university in the US.

Even Adolf Hitler is considered as a transformational leader. The charismatic power Hitler possessed was his capability to mesmerize people and gain their support was proved to be exceptionally powerful (Nicholls, 2000). He had so much driving powers that he was able to move the people of Germany to participate in the horrific periods of history and lead them as well as the world in a war.

Larry Page of Google always believes that they should build something which has no existence. They does not pay a great deal of attention to the competitors who are working on comparable products as they are sure of the fact that they will be all the times be one step ahead of them (Osborne, 2010). The leadership style of Larry Page makes the company innovative and ahead of their competitors. He is a true transformational leader who can lead his team to new heights. It is really the people that make the company what it is.

The transformational leadership is considered to be a management style which is energetic. It allows the employees to be motivated by their leaders. The transformational leadership which is persistent motivates the staff and improves the organizational effectiveness. A right transformational leader is very much essential in an organization to motivate the staffs (Zhu and Akhtar, 2013). Good transformational leaders can imbibe confidence among the people. It also leads to commitment to the organization by the people. The transformation leader sees that the people in the organization is educated and trained. The growth of an individual is also ensured by the leaders along with the growth of the organization (Koehler and Pankowski, 1997). The transformational leaders work among the people in the organization so that the people are motivated by their actions and words. The after affect of this form of management style is that the people are more confident in the company. When the employees are sure of the success of the company they feel motivated and confident.

The people who are motivated and inspired by the transformational leaders want the company to succeed. The leaders have so much influence on the people that the followers want they take the success of the company personally. Commitment towards the company can in the long run be productive and efficient. The more the employees hear about the success of the company from leaders, they are also encouraged to bring success for the company. The leaders constantly believe that the employees can be inspired from the job and improve their performance by greater education (Harmsen, 2008). When the employees see that there is a positive result from the training and education, they become more determined to develop their careers through constant education and training. The other ways by which a transformational leader can develop the organization is by giving them responsibilities and assisting them in the development of their career (Dickson and Gray, 2012). The leaders believe that the employees can grow when they are given additional responsibilities. It was seen that when the employees take additional responsibility they become leaders themselves. This creates a never ending pool of talented employees which allows the company to grow.



It is said that the transformational leaders are considered to stimulate the followers so that they perform beyond the level of their expectation. By stimulating the behavior of the followers the leaders enhance the quantity and quality of the performance of the follower. This type of leadership creates people who are faithful, connected and unselfish towards the organization. By achieving these kinds of qualities in the employees, it was seen that they perform beyond their targeted standards and expectations. There is a connection between the transformational leadership and the qualities such as sportsmanship, altruism, virtue and courtesy. The transformational leadership has a positive impact on the organizational citizenship performance and the behavior (Small Business -, 2015).  It influences various aspects such as the performance, self confidence, ethical behavior, productivity and commitment. The leadership of the leaders has a direct influence on the development of organizational culture. The leaders help the subordinates to discover who they are and their role in the organization to achieve the mission. By interacting, the leaders try to make the followers more committed to their work and also to the organization (McCracken, 2012). The personal as well as the organizational behavior have been greatly influenced by the transformational leaders. The leaders have often inspires the employees to believe in a new vision and to have new opportunities. The leaders constantly believe that the employees can be inspired from the job and improve their performance by greater education. To succeed against the implorable odds one must have commitment, authority, and consistency of message and mastery of communication.  The transformational leadership has a huge and steady influence on the job satisfaction of the employees (Transformational leadership, 2015). Job satisfaction is positively related to the overall performance of the organization and its development. Through great leaders produce great opportunities and success. If a leader leads his team well and has a vision for the future then the followers of the leaders as well as the organization develop. This form of leadership is very much essential in today’s world which is bound by organizational instability, global turbulence and uncertainty.

Some transformational leaders have greatly shaped the way the organization used to work. Many have led to havoc changes to the world through their leadership. Many companies have risen to new heights when an influential leader has taken over the charge of the companies (Neville, 2014). This form of leadership is able to improve the individual absorption of tasks and challenges. Commitment towards the company can in the long run be productive and efficient. The more the employees hear about the success of the company from leaders, they are also encouraged to bring success for the company. The organizations must select leaders who have the qualities of leadership in them; these qualities are an asset to the growth and development of the organization in the future as well as the development of the followers.



Bass, B. and Riggio, R. (2006). Transformational leadership. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Dickson, T. and Gray, T. (2012). Risk management in the outdoors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gerstner, L. (2002). Who says elephants can't dance?. New York, NY: HarperBusiness.

Harmsen, C. (2008). Consulting: An opportunity for transformational change. Nurse Leader, 6(1), pp.44-47.

Hawkins, P. (2011). Leadership team coaching. London: Kogan Page., (2015). Nelson Mandela, Transformational Leader. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2015].

Koehler, J. and Pankowski, J. (1997). Transformational leadership in government. Delray Beach, Fla.: St. Lucie Press.

Legacee, (2015). Lists of Transformational Leaders. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2015].

Mandela, N. and Russell, H. (2010). Let freedom reign. Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books.

McCracken, M. (2012). Book review: Organization Development: Accelerating Learning and Transformation. Management Learning, 43(4), pp.464-467.

Neville, H. (2014). Social Justice Mentoring: Supporting the Development of Future Leaders for Struggle, Resistance, and Transformation. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(1), pp.157-169.

Nicholls, D. (2000). Adolf Hitler. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.

Osborne, L. (2010). Sticky teams. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.

Sadler, P. (2003). Leadership. London: Kogan Page Ltd.

Small Business -, (2015). Transformational Leadership Examples in Business. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2015].

Tracy, B. (2014). Leadership. New York: American Management Association.

Transformational leadership. (2015). 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2015].

Zhu, Y. and Akhtar, S. (2013). How transformational leadership influences follower helping behavior: The role of trust and prosocial motivation. J. Organiz. Behav., 35(3), pp.373-392.

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