Posted by & filed under Communicating To Manage Performance, Leadership.

transactional leadersTransactional leaders are those who are more focused on the immediate, day-to-day goals of a group and its members. Rather than focusing too far in the future or inspiring team members to “think outside the box,” these leaders are less concerned with strategy or innovation than meeting benchmarks and maintaining the status quo.

The Traits of Transactional Leaders

Transactional leaders often thrive in management roles. Traditionally, a manager plans, budgets, organizes, oversees staff, controls procedures, and solves problems, whereas an executive (as a transformational leader) establishes direction, aligns people, or engage stakeholders with motivation and inspiration.[1] Managers are not expected to take on the challenges of producing change and moving forward. As long as they maintain order and attain results on a daily basis, they are effectively managing their group.

But even though a manager is effective within this narrow definition, a manager can elicit a more positive reaction from his/her team if he/she is a leader as well. Managers would do well to educate themselves in leadership skills for the better of the group and the organization. In this way, managers can motivate followers to accomplish the tasks at hand in the short term, but also be able to understand why those tasks are essential for long-term success.

This series also shows why it’s important for management and leadership to be in sync: any group or organization will need both inspiration and logistics (a heart and a head, or a vision and clear objectives to reach that vision) in order to succeed. If you find yourself in a job description that requires both short-term results and long-term vision, be aware that you’ll need to incorporate both leadership styles into your everyday practice.

Transactional Leadership with Impact

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.


[1] Leadership Theory and Practice

Photo by Paul L Dineen via Flickr

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