As a speaker, I give different presentations to different groups—but one of the topics I’m most passionate about is transformational leadership. True to its name, I believe that transformational leadership has the power to transform your team, your company, and your own approach to leadership. I’ve seen it happen at a lot of companies, and I’ve even witnessed it in my own life and work.

Defining Transformational Leadership

But maybe this is your first time hearing about transformational leadership—and maybe you’re wondering what I’m even talking about. Let me give you the one-sentence, Rick Goodman definition: Transformational leaders are those who stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity.

This may sound a little highfalutin, but let me tell you: Transformational leadership, with its emphasis on vision, employee empowerment, and challenging the traditional leadership paradigm, has become a well-liked model among today’s more progressive companies. And it’s not hard to see why: The benefits of transformational leadership are several.

  • Higher levels of productivity.
  • Increased employee satisfaction.
  • Increased retention.
  • Stronger relationships, based on trust.

Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership

Another good way to understand transformational leadership is to cast it in light of its opposite—transactional leadership, which has been the more common leadership paradigm for some time now.

Here’s how I would break things down:

  • Transformational leaders look to satisfy the greater need of the individual.
  • Transactional leaders try to make a lot of deals with those being led.
  • Transactional leadership is based on rewards versus punishment.
  • Transactional leadership is based on quid pro quo, or this for that!

Are You a Transformational Leader?

I’m speaking big-picture here, and I know it’s a lot to take in—but let me leave you with this question: Do you consider yourself to be a transformational leader? If you have a clear vision, with goals and expectations clearly outlined; if you are passionate and energized in the workplace; and if you are focused on helping everyone to succeed, then you just might fit the bill!

If you want to learn more about transformational leadership, I encourage you to reach out to me. I’d love to come speak about it at your company.

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