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Leadership Styles: Transformational Leadership

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Monday 16th of August 2021 Hadyn Luke 16/08/2021


Leadership Styles: Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leaders are role models for their team. They inspire loyalty and trust, while motivating their colleagues to achieve their goals.

Transformational Leadership can revolutionise a failing organisation or department.

Who came up with the idea of Transformational Leadership?

The idea of Transformational Leadership was introduced by historian and political scientist James MacGregor Burns in his book Leadership (1978). His definition of Transformational Leadership was when “leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation”.

The concept was expanded by Bernard M Bass in his book Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations (1985).

What is Transformational Leadership?

Transformational Leadership is when a leader demonstrates and expects high standards. Transformational Leaders will:

  • Act fairly and show integrity
  • Have high expectations of themselves and others
  • Set clear goals and manage their delivery
  • Motivate, encourage and support their team
  • Recognise achievements
  • Build strong relationships based on trust

As well as inspiring their team, a Transformational Leader will spend time on their own personal development and skills.

What are the key steps to Transformational Leadership?

These are:

  1. Creating an Inspiring Vision – setting out a clear purpose is key to encouraging your team to follow your lead. This is achieved by understanding the values, capabilities and resources of your team and organisation, before setting out a plan to deliver a business strategy.
  • Motivating your team to buy into and deliver this Vision – use your organisation’s Mission Statement to inspire those you lead and appeal to their values. To achieve this, you’ll need to understand the different ways of motivating people. Business storytelling –using specific examples, anecdotes and stories – can help your team to understand the reason behind decisions, goals and strategies. Link the vision to your team’s individual goals so they can see their place in the process.
  • Delivering the Vision – this is where you have to put in the hard graft to ensure that the vision you have developed is delivered. This stage is a combination of project management and change management. Communication is key, from ensuring everyone understands their roles and responsibilities to explaining why and how goals need to be reached and giving clear feedback. Set short-term and long-term goals for each team member. Be visible: connect with their daily activities and set an example by working hard and remaining positive and proactive when challenges arise.
  • Build strong relationships, based on trust – your success as a leader is reliant on the people you lead. Transformational Leadership is a long-term process during which you have to continually work on relationships by building trust and enabling your team members to thrive. Remember that each individual will have different career goals; take time to coach and encourage them.


A Transformational Leader will build a group of loyal, motivated and goal-oriented team members around them. Each individual will achieve beyond their previously perceived limits and will enjoy higher job satisfaction and self-confidence. To achieve this, the Transformation Leader must build trust, communicate their vision, work hard, practice self-development and lead by example.

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