Characteristics of transformational leaders

By on April 19, 2012

Transformational leaders are believed to possess extraordinary characteristics when compared with normal people. It is that extraordinary characteristic that makes them a cut above the rest. The following are some of the features that differentiate transformational leaders from other individuals.

Transformational leaders do not strictly go by existing rules of an organization. Instead, they create new strategies and rules that would help in the improvement of their followers as well as the organization as a whole (Avolio and Gibbons 1988). They bring in changes to the organizations whenever it is necessary and whichever area in which it is necessary. Besides, bringing in change these leaders also ensure that the introduced change is implemented and adapted successfully by everyone working in an organization. They give more value to relationships and get along with their followers very well (Bass 1998). They help their subordinates to move towards a better position in their career ladder by identifying their potential and bringing the best out of them. They have the ability to make their followers exhibit extra ordinary performance at work.

Transformational leaders redesign job functions and responsibilities of their followers to make their job more enjoyable and interesting. They not only motivate their subordinates but also teach them how to make wise decisions and develop their leadership qualities (Shamir, House  and Arthur 1993). In the sense, they are very clear about the decisions they take and face the consequences boldly without putting the blame on others.

On the whole, transformational leaders create several new leaders. They are highly ethical in nature. They always act ethically and focus greatly on human values and morals. They ensure not to find happiness at the cost of others. Their confidence levels and energy levels are high when compared with other individuals.


  • Avolio B J and Gibbons T C (1988), Developing Transformational Leaders: A lifespan Approach, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.
  • Shamir B, House R J and Arthur M B (1993). The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organization Science, UK.
  • Bass B M (1998), Transformational Leadership: Industrial, Military and Educational impact, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey


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