Leadership Styles Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles Introduction Leadership may refer to the act of leading anorganization or a group of people. Transactional and transformational leadership styles are among the five methods of leading people. Transformational leaders are charged with the role of identifying a change, inspiring their followers to embrace the change, as well as, working together with the committed members of the group. Transactional leaders, on the other hand, take the role of organizing, supervising and improving the group performance by controlling the members through rewards and punishments (Clawson, 2013).
The essay tries to explain how both leaders lead people through motivation, freedom of choice and various control techniques. Relevant biblical references are used to illustrate how the two leadership styles work in the real world. Transformational Leadership The transformational leadership style concept was first introduced in 1978 by James Burns. He described the term as a style of leaders trying to raise the levels of moral behaviours of their followers through inspiration (Richmond, 2008). Transformational leaders need to have high levels of self-esteem, as well as, self-actualization in order to inspire and motivate the members.
According to Clawson, 2011, transformational leaders usually use motivational techniques to inspire their follower so as to achieve certain objectives. So as to get an understanding of how these leaders motivate, control or give freedom of choice to lead people, it is relevant to look at the essential components of transformational leadership. Charismatic or idealized influence is the main character of any effective transformational leader. They tend to behave in admirable ways such that the followers can emulate them or have the urge to be identified with such leaders.
High charisma in a transformational leader will influence the behaviour and performance of the group members that he/she leads and thus they have no other choices than to follow. When a leader allocates tasks to his group members, he can increase their performance by performing well in the similar task (Richmond, 2008). In this way, the members have the freedom of choice on whether to perform well or not. The only option left is thus to perform well just as the manager or leader does. Another component of transformational leadership is the inspirational motivation aspect, which involves articulating inspiring and appealing visions to the followers.
Inspirational leaders usually challenge the group members with high moral standards and give optimistic goals in the future. However, the leaders may act like servants so as to inspire the followers more by handling the tasks at hand. With the use of motivational techniques, transformational leaders may, therefore, achieve the set objectives or goals in the future. For example, Jesus was an inspiring and motivational leader in the Bible because he maintained high moral standards so as to be emulated by his disciples.
In addition, he offered to wash his disciples’ feet as a way of showing respect, which in turn influenced the moral behaviours of the disciples positively (Youssef, 2013). Transformational leaders can control through intellectual stimulation where the group members’ assumptions are challenged, as well as, increasing their willingness to take risks. Such leaders can achieve this goal by taking risks themselves and showing the followers that without his presence all is possible. In this way, the members of a group remain free to choose, and this gives room for creativity for the committed persons.
Individualized consideration is the last component of this leadership style, which involves attending the needs of each group member (Richmond, 2008). It allows control at personal level and the overall control in an organization since everyone is satisfied with the leaders’ standards and requirements. Transactional Leadership As stated earlier, transactional leaders tend to use punishments and rewards in order to gain compliance from the group members. Some researchers argue that these leaders remind the followers on the promotions and demotions put in place for them in several times.
If they don’t work using these control techniques, no significant change is achieved. Transactional leaders are always in the move to punish those who don’t perform and reward those who succeed in the allocated duties (Clawson, 2013). There are various behaviours associated the transactional style of leadership, which may include, contingent rewards, laissez-faire leadership and management by exception. Use of rewards to influence the actions of the followers is a motivational technique that results to increased performance. Workers or members in an organization tend to work harder when there is a monetary gift or promise for them, unlike when they are inspired by the leader only without rewards.
In the management by exception, transactional leaders usually punish or correct as a response to low performance. On another hand, they actively track the works progress of the group members when they want high levels of performance. In this way, the leaders control the performance and behaviour of the followers and thus achieving their goals and objectives (Richmond, 2008). Laissez-faire leadership styles are also used by transactional leaders when leading people.
It involves giving supervisory duties to the subordinates since the manager wants to remain on good terms with everyone and avoid confrontations. Therefore, the group are left free to choose on how to perform their tasks and their levels of performance. The leaders passively influence the performance of his followers by giving them the freedom of choice. The loyal and committed members versus the lazy members thus compete and in the process achieve the intended performance by their leader (Richmond, 2008). References Clawson, J. G.
(2011). Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface (fifth Edition). New York: Pearson Education International/Prentice Hall. Richmond, S. L. (2008). Introduction to type and leadership. Palo Alto, Calif: Consulting Psychologists Press. Youssef, M. (2013). The leadership style of Jesus. New York: Cengage Learning.