Posted by & filed under Leadership.

leadership styleIn this three-part blog series on leadership style, we investigate the differences between transformational and transactional leadership: two styles that are both integral to the success of any functional business.

A transformational leader is someone who moves a group forward, bringing change and evolving the group to a mutual goal. In comparison, the transactional leader motivates and influences the group to elicit results for the more immediate task at hand, as opposed to a vision prospectively. This leader needs to maintain the current status quo and is a bit less strategically focused. Often, transactional leaders take on more managerial roles while transformational leaders take on a corporation’s executive functions.

Leadership Style: The Defining Traits

Below are some general elements of each leadership style[1]:

Transactional Leadership Transformational Leadership
* Leaders are aware of the link between effort and reward

* Leadership is responsive and its basic orientation is dealing with present issues

* Leaders rely on standard forms of motivation, reward, and sanction to manage team members

* Leaders motivate team members by setting goals and promising rewards for desired performance

* Leadership depends on the leader’s power to reinforce subordinates for their successful completion of the bargain

* Leaders arouse emotions in their followers, which motivates them to act beyond the framework of what may be described as exchange relations

* Leadership is proactive and forms new expectations in followers

* Leaders are distinguished by their capacity to inspire and provide individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and idealized influence to their followers

* Leaders create learning opportunities for their followers and stimulate followers to solve problems

* Leaders possess good visioning, rhetorical, and management skills, to develop strong emotional bonds with followers

* Leaders motivate followers to work for goals that go beyond self-interest


It seems that transformational leaders are more focused on the “big picture” and long-term goals, while transactional leaders are essential to keeping operations running smoothly on a daily basis. Which leadership style is responsible for setting the moral or ethical principles of the group? Which one most mirrors your leadership style, or which one would you most like to aspire toward?

Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.

Employee Development Systems delivers results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance.



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