“Constant change” is a phrase that perfectly describes today’s business environment. Companies operating in various industries around the world have to adapt to market changes associated with technological advances, globalization, new approaches to work (changing awareness of the importance of work in people’s lives) or increasing competition.

These are the conditions that have given rise to an approach to team management referred to as transformational leadership, which in recent years (mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences) has gained significantly in the workplace. Below we describe what distinguishes this management style, its benefits for teams and companies as a whole, and its role in today’s business landscape.

Transformational leadership – what does it consist of?

Transformational leadership is a management style in which leaders aim to change organizations and create innovative solutions by inspiring, mobilizing and developing employees. It first appeared in James MacGregor Burns’ book “Leadership.” At the time, Burns defined it as a process by which leaders and subordinates influence each other to achieve higher goals and values, exceeding their own interests.

The model itself was further developed by Bernard M. Bass, among others, who took the position that leaders have the ability to influence the behavior, values and attitudes of their subordinates, leading them to self-development and the achievement of organizational goals. In 1985, Bass developed the 4 elements of transformational leadership, which are still relevant and great for today’s organizations, namely:

  • Idealized example – a leader should be a role model to pull people along,
  • Intellectual stimulation – the leader encourages reflection, questioning, searching for innovative solutions and taking risks, creating a work environment that supports going beyond the usual patterns,
  • Inspiring motivation – the leader stimulates enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to achieve the organization’s common goals among his team members (makes employees treat the organization’s goal as their own),
  • Individualized treatment – the leader creates an atmosphere based on honesty, openness, empathy and mutual respect, ensuring that the employee has a sense of empowerment.

Transformational leadership – why is this approach necessary?

Transformational leadership grew out of the need to change the approach to managing teams (but more broadly, organizations themselves) in the face of growing challenges and socio-economic changes. As organizations became more complex, dynamic and global, and employees became more aware, the traditional autocratic or bureaucratic management models that had been known for years were no longer effective.

Thus, they began to realize that leaders no longer had to just manage and control, but also inspire, influence and mobilize employees, not forgetting to take care of their development. In this way, they contribute to the creation of strong, committed teams and organizations capable of adapting and succeeding in a dynamic business environment – because in every process in a company, the employee plays the most important role.

What are the benefits of transformational leadership?

Above all, this management style can lead to greater employee satisfaction and commitment to their duties, which affects the organization’s performance. Individuals working under a transformational leader are often more motivated to work because they feel part of a common goal and are given the freedom to realize their potential.

Due to the inspiration they receive, space for development and support, they themselves show more initiative and creativity, which leads to an increase in the effectiveness of both individuals and entire teams. It is worth noting, however, that this style of management contributes not only to better work results, but also to greater innovation, organizational flexibility or the ability to cope with dynamic changes in the market, which is really important in modern times.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership – summary

We should conclude that transformational leadership allows organizations to adapt to changing market conditions – and thus maintain a competitive advantage while being an attractive place to work in the eyes of candidates. Organizations that invest in developing the described approach tend to benefit from greater employee engagement, improved organizational performance and adaptability to changing conditions.

With leaders who promote flexibility, innovation and the ability to change, they can also respond more quickly to emerging challenges. It is worth remembering that with this management style, the key to success is the ability to build trust, communicate clearly and inspire, and create an atmosphere where employees feel valued and supported.

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The role of transformational leadership in the workplace nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.