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Transformational Leadership –Origin and Importance

An Introduction

A leader is a person who influences others to meet a goal and manages his team in such a way that it moves towards that objective unswervingly. The concept of leadership varies as per situations and from one person to another. One can be a political leader, religious leader or community leader. In this article, we will introduce you to transformational leadership as a concept in the workplace.

Origin of the Transformational Leadership Theory

The idea of Transformational leadership was pioneered by James MacGregorBurns. According to him, transformational leaders have a strong vision and personality with which they can influence followers to transform motivations, perceptions and expectations so that they can fulfill the vision.

In 1978, Bernard Bass modified Burns’ theory and it came to be known as Bass' Transformational Leadership Theory. He developed the theory of Burns and stated that transformational leadership is the impact a leader has on his followers. A transformational leader is admired, respected and trusted by his followers. Bass remarked that the level of transformation a leader can bring is directly proportional to the influence he has on his followers. The more he inspires them, the more they will contribute to the organizational success. The identity rendered to the followers helps them to relate to the success of the project and gives them a mission. A leader who follows transformational ideas is one who urges his followers to come up with something new instead of following the existing norms and processes.

Definition of Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a method by which a leader realizes that a change is required and he creates a vision accordingly. He then, inspires his followers to fulfill that vision. He contributes in boosting the performance of his followers by motivating them. He encourages his followers to identify themselves with the organization, thus giving birth to collective identity. He is someone, followers look up to for inspiration.

A transformational leader is one who asks the followers to take responsibility and ownership of their work. By identifying the strong and weak points of the followers, he knows which task is suitable for which follower.

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