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Transformational Leadership Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 14th, 2019


Major businesses in the world have developed and acquired a major market share by buying other small businesses into their large networks or through amalgamation. In most cases, only documents of business ownership and shareholding are transformed while most of the business employees are retained, as operation remains normal.

However, some businesses acquire new business and opt to use their own managerial skills that may greatly differ with the existing managerial strategies of the acquired business. Such transitional processes may affect the business, either negatively or positively. Either way, the transition process calls for transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership is a form of leadership that is involved especially when a business is undergoing new changes, be it ownership changes or managerial changes. Transformational leadership is based on the basic assumption and theory that every worker will want to be associated with a successful leader or a leader who seems to know the way to success (Vesa, 2006).

The theory and assumption also state that every worker and employee will follow and get inspiration from a leader who has a passion and vision of what he wants in life. The theory further suggests that a transformational leader knows how to inject enthusiasm and energy into his followers and this gets things properly and efficiently done (Clark, 2009). In this process, the business needs leaders who will have the basic components of a transformational leader that include:

Components of a Transformational Leader

First is Intellectual stimulation. This is required in a transformational leader so that they can challenge the company’s status quo and to encourage the other workers to be more creative. This is by encouraging them to be more explosive in finding new ways of accomplishing their duties and providing them with new learning opportunities during the transformation period (Vesa, 2006).

In his encouragement process the leader is expected to show ideal intellectualism in the sense that even though some of the changes may not be working, he should be able to quickly find long-term solutions to arising problems and difficulties within the working environment that have been aroused by the transition. The leaders should easily incorporate different ideas all to work towards achieving the company’s goals and objectives.

In a transition period within a business, it is possible that workers seem to give up. In such circumstances, the leader is expected to keep the workers working by providing them with responsibilities that will stimulate their thinking and help them invent new ways of performing tasks. However, what is most important is for the leader to remain intellectually sharp in the whole process of transformation because this will be a major contribution in achieving the company’s goals (Vesa, 2006).

Second is Individualized consideration. A transformational leader is expected to be considerate with their followers during the transition period (Clark, 2009). The major way they are expected to display their consideration is by them offering encouragement and support to individual workers.

This is important because it motivates the workers to keep on working during the transitional period and in return, it lowers the workers turnover during such times. Keeping communication lines open is the major way transitional leaders can foster good relations with their followers since they will free to share any ideas with their leaders.

Open communication helps the leaders to recognize unique contributions by their followers. By showing consideration to every employee they encounter, the employees will feel part of the change. They will also realize that their contribution towards the change is being appreciated and even though they might have been giving up their energy will be boosted and rejuvenated and they will push towards the achievements of the set targets (Appelbaum et al, 2008).

Third is Inspirational motivation. Transformational periods within any business are characterized with confusions because some job specifications are changed and modified to meet the requirements of the new strategies being implemented. As a result of these alterations and implementations of new strategies, employees feel overworked and that their rights are being abused, as their employment contracts never included such included such information (Appelbaum et al, 2008).

This has been the major reason why most businesses experience high employee turnovers during transitional processes, therefore in order to minimize the workforce turnover the business need to have leaders who can offer inspirational motivation to their followers.

Transformational leaders are expected to do this because they always have clear visions of where the transformation is heading to and they are expected to articulate the information to their followers as a source of inspiration (Pryor et al., 2007). Through articulation of information to their followers, it is believed that the information will evoke a passion and motivation to meet the company’s goals and objectives by the employees during the transformation period.

Fourth is Idealized influence, which is the last of the four basic requirements of a transformational leader. The transformational leader is expected to have a positive influence on their employees. The leader has followers who trust and respect them, they see them as their ideal role model and in most cases they will try to emulate and implement what they see their leader doing.

If a leader loses their focus or seems to be lacking ideas, so will most of the employees and as a result the business will collapse (Riggio, 2009). Therefore, a good transformational leader must have a much-idealized influence especially during a transition period. However, it is important to note that by talking about a transformational leader, it does not necessarily have to be an individual but it refers to any individual, organization, or committee that is given the authority to oversee a transitional period within any profit making institution.

In addition to this, it is important to know that the above-mentioned qualities of a leader are not enough to have the whole transition process a success. The leader despite exhibiting all these qualities should know how to incorporate and implement them to achieve a company’s goals (Moyles, 2006).

The leader must have his own styles of marrying his qualities with achieving of the company’s goals. Different leaders might use different tactics but it is important to know that studies have shown that whichever method a transformational leader uses, they are all similar and do not differ in concepts but only in the way of implementation. The main implementation processes used by transformational leaders to achieve strategic quality management include:

Implementation Processes Used by Transformational Leaders

Developing the vision is the first step. After realizing that the company will undergo a transition either an ownership or managerial transformation whereby most of the job specifications will be redefined, the first step that a transformational leader makes is developing a vision.

In his vision development, the leader is expected to be strategic in that his vision will help maintain most workers and convert them to be his followers (Riggio, 2009). The vision is expected to be exciting so that it will arouse minimal questions to the workers and that they will see it as a way of developing their personal skills too. However, what matters most is the ability in which the transitional leader will hook the vision and bring it into the mainstream of the management strategies.

The other basic step that the leader follows is to sell his vision to his workers goals (Moyles, 2006). This step is so critical that it never stops and it is always revisited even after the transitional period. This process requires a lot of energy and commitment and in most cases, the leaders start implementing it even before the real transformation period arrives.

In this process, the transformational leaders capitalize on every opportunity they get to sell their ideas and strategies to their followers. The reason they must constantly do this is the varying degree of acceptance among workers, some workers might quickly buy the vision while others will take their time to get convinced and accept the vision. In the process of selling the ideas and vision, most of the transformational leaders are always very careful to win the trust of their followers.

This is because any mistrust from their followers will affect the managerial strategies and will have to incur extra costs incase experienced workers leave due to the mistrust, definitely new workers will have to be employed which is always not advisable in a transformation period within a business. So as not to interfere with the managerial strategies, the leader is expected to sell both his vision and integrity to both his followers and potential followers (Appelbaum et al, 2008).

After coming up with a vision and selling it to his followers the leader is expected to find the way forward towards the implementation of his vision. Most transformational leaders always have a way in their mind which they want others to adopt and follow (Moyles, 2006). However, they have to make sure that their way will go hand in hand with the managerial strategies. This stage is very important in that in finding the way the leaders have to incorporate the new strategies that are being implemented.

To avoid minimal friction with their followers the leaders also buy some ideas from their followers that they consider useful and place them in their strategies. The reason for buying these ideas is to avoid pullbacks due to the workers complains when the transformation period is halfway. Nevertheless, the transitional leaders’ way will not be perfect but they will always be content as long as progress is being made, but they will correct and fill in the loopholes being left behind (McNichol & Hamer, 2006).

The major final stage that most transitional leaders implement is leading the charge. This is the action plan and any mistake may destroy or handicap the whole transformation process. This process is always the easiest for most transitional leaders; this is always made possible by their confidence.

Although an easy process, it calls for maximum dedication and concentration because they will have to motivate constantly their followers not to give up and they will have to listen and observe where gaps are coming in and make necessary adjustments(Hacker & Tammy, 2004). They are expected to be there throughout the transition period especially at the most difficult times when some of the followers start doubting whether the vision will fully be achieved.

At this stage they are expected to display their full leadership skills that will entirely win the confidence of their supporters and keep them moving and pushing forward (Gold, Thorpe & Mumford, 2010). One of the major managerial skills that these leaders use to motivate and keep their workers moving is by organizing ceremonies after every accomplishment to show their followers that progress is being made.

However, what matters to them most throughout the transformation period is the mental status of their followers this is because 99% of the transformational leaders are people oriented and have a strong belief that through sustained deep commitment is the only way to achieve success (Riggio, 2009).

Ingredients of a Quality Transformational Leader

The ingredients required for the occurrence of a successful transformational leadership and transformational strategies are summarized in many ways. One of the most core ingredients is the ability of the leader to make valid judgments and decisions that will work for the greater good and benefit of the whole transformation process within a business or organization. Therefore, the main aim and goal of a transformational leader is to achieve the trust of his followers as well as to inspire and motivate them (Clark, 2009).

The leader is expected to be open and self-less to win the trust of the followers. The leader should relentlessly share his ideas and imaginations and they should tap talent and enhance communication with their followers in an effort to come into a virtual agreement with the followers that will enable them all to achieve the goals of the transformation.

The leaders are expected to act as mentors and motivators, they should be fully aware that they are the main engine of the transformation process and that their determination and commitment will greatly define the outcome of the whole transformation process.

The relationship between the leaders vision and the acceptance of the followers should be so solid that incase a misfortune happens to the leader the followers will still be able to push on with the transformation and achieve its targets even in the absence of their leader (Gold, Thorpe & Mumford, 2010).

The leader must never worry about how the management will implement the final outcome, what they should concentrate is wining the trust of their followers and keep on achieving the set targets of the transformation (Lussier & Achua, 2010). At the end of the transformation, it shall be upon the management to codify the changes and put in place administrative structures that will maintain the achievements of the transformation through the relentless efforts of the transformational leader and his followers.

Short Comings of Transformational Leaders & Leadership

However, despite all the good attributes to the transformational leader and their relentless efforts in bringing out the change they have been appointed to bring, they still have their negativities that mostly go unnoticed. Working with a transformational leader is among the most wonderful experiences a worker can have. This is because of their tactic promise and nature to make people believe that the impossible is possible.

They are charismatic and liked by many but their unconventional energy and desire to make things work can un-knowingly exploit most of their followers and drain away all their energy. In return, most transformational leaders visualize the actual big picture and ignore the details involved in which the obstacles and obstacles lie awaiting for him and his team to commence the transformation journey to pull them back.

In many cases, transformational leaders have faced hash criticism because their leadership skills have been identified as inhuman because they involve so much sacrifice from their followers. When keenly analyzed and observed these accusations are not false especially in situations where by unsuspecting followers meet with unscrupulous leaders (Gold, Thorpe & Mumford, 2010).

In some cases, some of the transformational leaders forge paths that will look human and interesting to their followers in an effort to achieve their visions and set goals by the end of the transformation period. Some times these leaders might employ deceit and manipulation among their unsuspecting and loyal followers. Sometimes, they are involved in power abuse by giving favors to those who seem to oppose and question their leadership. These are the major ethical and professional issues involved in transformational leaders.


Despite the above-mentioned back downs, analysts have left it upon the people to weigh the good and positive sides of transformational leaders and leadership. Despite business researchers failing to take sides, on either side of the transformational leaders, the benefits of transformational leadership are speaking for themselves. The merits have spoken on their own because of the value transformational leaders have been given by leading organizations.

This has been evidenced by the roles given to these leaders in the military forces and federal government organizations such as the F.B.I, Scotland Yard among many other organizations. Their importance has been shown in public by different organizations calling in charismatic leaders who happen to be transformational leaders to go and salvage situations. Transformational leaders have shown to yield results especially when connected to their followers (Clark, 2009).

Reference List

Appelbaum, S. H., Mitraud, A., Gailleur, J., Iacovella, M., Gerbasi, R., & Ivanova, V. (2008). The impact of organizational change, structure, and leadership on employee turnover: a case study. Journal of Business Case Studies, 4(1), 21-38.

Clark, C. C. (2009). Creative nursing leadership & management. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Gold, J., Thorpe, R., & Mumford, A. (2010). Gower handbook of leadership and management development. Burlington, VT: Gower. Kotlyar, I., & Karakowsky, L. (2007). Falling Over Ourselves to Follow the Leader. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, 38-49.

Hacker, S., & Tammy, R. (2004). Transformational leadership: Creating organizations of meaning. Milwaukee, Wis: ASQ Quality Press.

Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2010). Leadership: Theory, application, skill development. Australia: SouthWestern/Cengage Learning.

McNichol, E., & Hamer, S. (2006). Leadership and management: A 3-dimensional approach. Cheltenham, U.K: Nelson Thornes.

Moyles, J. R. (2006). Effective leadership and management in the early years. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Pryor, M., White, C., & Toombs, L. (2007). Strategic Quality Management: A Strategic Approach to Continous Improvement. Mason, OH: Cengage learning.

Riggio, R.E. (2009, March 24). Are you a transformational leader? Psychology Today. Web.

Vesa, N. (2006). Deep Leadership. Talentum, Finland.

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