Friday, July 8, 2011

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

In today’s modern world different types of leadership models had been put forward out of which Transformational leadership is one of the most important.

The word “Transform” itself explains the meaning of this theory. These type of leaders are highly energetic with high level of enthusiasm, they always focus on transforming their qualities, vision, strength, into their followers or the into the organization by continuously setting up examples through their behavior.

This term was first introduced by James MacGregor Burns in 1978. According to Burns, transformational leadership can be seen when “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation." Through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions and motivations to work towards common goals.

Over the period of time in 1985 another researcher, Bernard M. Bass extends Burns works and proposed that transformation can be measured in terms of influence and overall change in personality of followers. The followers of these leaders look up to their leader as an idol to worship for lifetime. They admire and respect him and always show their loyalty towards their leader.

Brass proposed four different aspects of Transformational Leadership:

1)       Inspirational Motivation: Transformational leaders provides clear goal with positive attitude to their followers. Inspiration and motivation are distinctive things. Motivation may be short term while Inspiration is long term. Motivation concentrates on single thing while Inspiration concentrates on overall transformation. Inspiration is next step of Motivation.

          Individualized Consideration:  Transformational leaders understand needs and desire of their followers by continuous open conversation and supportive relationship. These result in fast improvement in understating of followers. Every human being is hungry for the feeling of importance and consideration and these leaders fulfill their psychological need.  

3)      Intellectual Stimulation: Transformational leaders always challenges establish assumptions and forced their followers to think in different ways than usual way of thinking. This result in generation of new ideas and alternative solutions .In a way we can say that they force their followers to think laterally.

4)      Idealized Influence: Transformational leaders put themselves as an role model by ethical behavior, continues aspiration, motivation and setting up the examples of what they talk.

Through this process transformation triggers very fast as followers always look up to their leader to follow.

      If you go back into the history and try to find out the examples for transformational leadership, the most profound examples you can found are in the Hindu mythology. In the ancient culture of Mahabharata when young son of a King lives in Ashram for more than 10 years by leaving behind their lavish life for the purpose of seeking knowledge and becoming expert in their respected interested filed. Guru(Leader) who is supposed to be expert  make sure that his student (follower) acquire the every bit of wisdom he had and capitalize over it through his own self-belief and charisma and become Legend. Every Guru always wished that one day he should get defeated from his student which gives him the satisfaction of his job fulfillment and happiness for his student success.   

Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. N.Y, Harper and Row.

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