The Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is the process to “develop and promote values and goals that are shared by both leaders and followers” (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2010, p. 251).  The transformational leadership requires a leader’s ability to inspiring and motivating followers to act on the basis of shared value and vision. In the transformational approach, the leadership success depends on a leader’s ability to encourage followers to rise above low-level transactional considerations and instead pursue a higher-order sense of morality and purpose (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2010, p. 251).  According to Caldwell, Dixon, Floyd, Chaudoin, Post, and Cheokas (2012), the transformational leadership approach gives leaders the mechanism to transform organizational goals into synergistic duties of the individuals.  Caldwell et al. (2012) specified four components of the transformational leadership, which are “idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration” (p. 177).  With each of the four components, workers are inspired to take efforts for their own personal development while also improving the performance of the organization.

As noted in Shanker and Sayeed (2012), transformational leadership “makes profound positive influence on the subordinates’ effort and satisfaction with their various abilities” (p. 471) because transformational leaders demonstrate a clear sense of advocacy, influence, and support on behalf of all staff members.  Transformational leaders “develop objectives, goals, and priorities, via a strategic plan, that align with the organization’s mission and vision” (Wolf, 2012, p. 310).  Therefore, in transformational leadership, leaders do not enforce their own power, but they transform influence to empower followers by inspiring and motivating followers and sharing visions and goals with them.

Transformational leadership is an effective approach for managing organizational change.   In the transformational process, leaders examine the patterns and trends that occur in the organization, explore the facts related to current issues and potential crisis, and observe how patterns fit together to envision future outcomes of organizational change.  Because organizational change usually does not resonate with all workers, leaders must be able to influence and direct others in the change process.  Transformational leaders can help subordinates prepare for such change and take positive actions to meet new requirements and new goals resulted from organizational change.

Transformational leadership is established on a strong moral base to pursue the best interests of both individuals and the organization.  When all workers are motivated to become their best, the organizations is able to “create high trust and the high performance work cultures that produce increased profitability and long-term sustainability” (Caldwell, Dixon, Floyd, Chaudoin, Post, & Cheokas, 2012, p. 177).  Caldwell et al. (2012) stated that “the ethical foundation of transformational leadership incorporates an array of integrated commitments to the organization, the community, and the individuals within an organization” (p. 177).


Caldwell, C., Dixon, R., Floyd, L., Chaudoin, J., Post, J., & Cheokas, G. (2012). Transformative leadership: Achieving unparalleled excellence. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(2), 175-187.

Haslam, S. A, Reicher, S. D., & Platow, M. J. (2010). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence, and power. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Shanker, M., & Sayeed, O. (2012). Role of transformational leaders as change agents: Leveraging effects on organizational climate. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 47(3), 470-484.

Wolf, G. (2012). Transformational leadership: The art of advocacy and influence. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(6), 309-310. doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182573989

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