Transformational Leadership

Every person is a leader. Once you have a job, get married, become a parent, join a church, pastor a church, then you are a leader. Everyone is a leader is some aspect of their life. The only question is, what kind of leader are you?

One way to think about leadership ability is to view it on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum there are the leaders who are thoughtless in their style of leadership. They think little of how to lead others, apply themselves minimally to learning about leadership and have little concern for the circle of influence they possess. Thoughtless leaders are ineffective leaders.

In the middle of the spectrum are those who are transactional leaders. This is a common approach in business today. These leaders and managers offer tit-for-tat. If you do something for me, I will do something for you. Transactional leadership is needed to run modern organizations but there is a better option.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the leaders who are transformational in their results. Those are people who recognize that a leader, together with his or her followers, has the potential to achieve higher levels of motivation, morale and accomplishment in their church or organization. This is the ultimate style of leadership that every leader, pastor and business manager should desire.

Transformational leaders have the ability to get people to want to change and to lead the change.

Based on the research of Bernard Bass, and others, it is understood that transformational leaders possess four qualities:

  • Idealized Influence

    Transformational leaders inspire people because they are committed to the mission, lead by example and are admired for their passion and commitment. Simply put, transformational leaders are role models for their church and organization. In sports, leaders are often described as the person who is first to the rink and last to leave.

    Transformational leaders are fully engaged in and exemplify the mission of the team.

  • Inspirational Motivation

    Transformational leaders inspire people and motivate them to action for the benefit of the mission and vision. They can see a preferred future that is embraced by all and inspire coworkers to achieve it.

    Transformational leaders can get people excited about going to a new place.

  • Individualized Consideration

    Transformational leaders have knowledge of and concern for those that they lead. They pay close attention to the needs of their followers to bring out the best in them. They spend time as mentors to colleagues. They know their coworkers and care about their values and ambitions and goals. They help their coworkers develop their strengths to the fullest.

    Transformational leaders enculture the value of personal growth into the organization.

  • Intellectual Stimulation

    Transformational leaders increase the performance of their followers by encouraging them to be creative and innovative. They elicit new ideas and creative solutions by seeking differing perspectives. They challenge coworkers to identify and solve problems to further the mission of the organization.

    Transformational leaders can take people to places they have never been before.