Transformational Leadership definition

Transitional leadership is a style of leadership focused on energy, vision and transformation with the aim of creating positive change in the personal and professional lives of individuals. Transformational leaders use their skills, personality traits and knowledge to guide productive improvements throughout an organisation.

Political scientist James MacGregor Burns, often cited as the founding father of the subject, defined transformational leadership as occurring “when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.”

In 1985, Bernard Bass posed four central tenets to transformational leadership:

  1. Individualised consideration – attending to the individual needs of followers
  2. Intellectual stimulation – challenging assumptions and the status quo
  3. Inspirational motivation – articulates a vision that is appealing and worthy to followers
  4. Idealised influence – provides a role model for ethical and socially desirable behaviour
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