What is Transformational Leadership?

Transformational leadership was birthed from educational systems and the military.  The writings of BM Bass and JM Burns are cited in many, if not most, articles on transformational leadership.  In the best sense, transformational leaders equip and create community.  This community serves the articulated vision by building on the trust created through the integrity of leadership.  

Transformational leaders are not intimidated by teams, committees, or boards.  Conversely, they lead those groups to fulfil objectives and active participation with mutual accountability.  Empowering groups to find their creative balance is a model for transformational leadership, not a weakness as many might think.  The model requires that a leader think thoroughly through each process.  Process builds trust.  Process creates community.  Process itself is a unifying, cooperative force.  

Traits and Characteristics

The following list is my summary of key traits for you to learn – and perfect – if you truly desire to become an optimally-effective transformational leader.  As a caution, please note that this description is not an ominous point, but describes a process of learning and growing to become the leader that YOU were created to be.  

As you review the list, think about people that you know who model these traits.   You will make a list of those people in the Reflect and Apply section.   Remember, you are building a transformational leadership system while simultaneously building your skills as a transformational leader, a definitive leader.  Also, begin thinking of the skills that you want to improve upon.  This information will be built upon in later lessons.  It will be very helpful while building your skills for success.

The transformational leader:

  • Clearly Articulates Vision And Goals
  • Defines Things Others Can Do
  • Builds Leaders Within Teams
  • Effectively Delegates
  • Encourages Boldness
  • Gives Information And Support
  • Affirms And Celebrates Competence
  • Respects The Individual
  • Avoids Micromanaging 
  • Models What They Preach

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