Characteristics of a Transformational Leader

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership in which the leader inspires change among the people he leads. It involves setting a good vision for an organization and inspiring people to achieve that vision. Transformational leaders are passionate about their work and have the ability to energize their teams to work towards the group’s goals.

Transformational leaders exhibit certain characteristics which enable them to lead their followers effectively.

Trust and Value People

First, they value people and believe in trust. A strong relationship between transformational leaders and their followers is based on trust. A transformational leader values the contributions of his/her followers in performance of a given task (Bass, 1994). He appreciates them and rewards them for their valuable contributions. Transformational leaders also delegate duties effectively. This refers to the situation of passing authority from a transformational leader to his/her subordinate staff.

Developing Talents

Transformational leaders also develop people’s potential by giving them an opportunity to learn, develop their skills and enhance their talents and capabilities. They understand that his followers need to learn through experience in order to perform effectively at their workplace.

Humble & Approachable

Transformational are approachable and they are not conscious of status. They treat everyone equally in the organisation regardless of their backgrounds. They give everyone an opportunity to express themselves without considering their status in the society and guide their followers to appreciate each other despite their status differences.

Accept and Lead Change

Furthermore, a transformational leader encourages questioning of traditional approaches. In this perspective, they transform leadership in organisations into hubs of change guided by the recognition of the people and participation of organization’s stakeholders in decision making and policy implementations within the organisation.

Transparency and Honesty

Another set of characteristics of transformational leaders include transparency and honesty. Transformational leaders are more concerned with the interests of the organisation than their own personal ambitions. They make wide consultations and involve all stakeholders in decision making processes of the organisation.

Good Decision Makers and Risk Takers

Decisiveness is also a common characteristic among transformational leaders. A transformational leader takes risks when necessary and makes strong stands regarding to decisions involving the needs and interests of the organisation (Barnett & Schubert, 2002).

Effective Communication

Transformational leaders also communicate the organization’s vision; both internally and externally. Most importantly, transformational leaders have clear vision, strategic direction and ability to enhance teamwork and help others to attain corporate vision.

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