One of the eight major leadership theories is known as the Relationship Theory of Leadership, also known as Transformational Leadership. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping team members see the importance of their role within the organization. These leaders are focused on the performance of team members and also want to help each person fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards.
I am a big fan of and believer in Transformational Leadership.
I believe in Transformational Leadership because transformational leaders leave something of value behind after they are gone. They leave more leaders.
Transactional Leaders have high but reasonable expectations for their people. They inspire them to put forth their best effort because it is simply the right thing to do. They help their people through coaching and mentoring to achieve extraordinary outcomes and to develop their own leadership skills. In short, they help ordinary people accomplish the extraordinary.
Transformational leaders help followers grow by responding to their followers’ needs and by empowering them to make decisions. These leaders help to align the objectives and goals of the individual followers with the goals and objectives of the team and even the larger organization.
Researchers have found that this style of leadership indeed has the desired positive effect on people. “Research evidence clearly shows that groups led by transformational leaders have higher levels of performance and satisfaction than groups led by other types of leaders,” explained psychologist and leadership expert Ronald E. Riggio in an article appearing on the Psychology Today website.
Transformational Leadership reinforces the importance of truly caring for the people you lead. Transformational Leadership requires that the leader invest a part of themselves in their people and that they care as much (or more) about the success of their people as they do their own.
Transformational Leaders fully understand that ultimately their own success is completely dependent upon the success of their people. Virtually every action they take and every word they speak reflects that understanding.
The effort required to be a Transformational Leader is substantial but so are the rewards. Anyone can build stuff but it takes a special kind of person to build people, especially people who themselves become leaders.
Transformational Leadership is a rewarding style of leadership and if the leaders you help build eventually build leaders of their own then the rewards can go on indefinitely.
Now that’s what I call leadership!