Reflections on Transformational and Transactional Leadership

“Transformational leadership occurs when leaders raise people’s motivation and sense of higher purpose. It is distinguished from transactional leadership, which involves an exchange between leader  and  followers that typically provides a material or psychological reward in return for their compliance with the leader’s wishes, policies and procedures”  (Roger Gill).

Transformational leaders:

  • Have strong value systems
  • Stimulate imagination and creativity
  • Raise motivation , self-esteem , and self-confidence
  • Build stronger relationships
  • Inspire followers to dream beyond what is expected

Transactional leaders:

  • Initiate a transaction between the leader and the led
  • Set objectives and standards
  • Monitor and enforce rules and procedures
  • Have relationships built on reward in return for compliance
  • Are strongly directive, gaining compliance rather than commitment

“Most organisations will benefit from moving in the direction of more transformational aspects in their cultures, while also maintaining a base of effective transactional tendencies” (Bernard Bass).

Thanks to Roger Gill for permission to use material from his book “Theory And Practice Of Leadership”  second edition, published by Sage

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