Transformational Leadership: Why it Matters

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Charisma, inspiration, and passion are all traits of a transformational leader. James McGregor Burns introduced this leadership style in the late 70s and it still holds true today. Transformational leadership is “a process where leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation”. It plays a crucial role in empowering employees in today’s workforce.

As incredible leaders already, Fellows, you have the potential to be the diverse, transformational leaders that our country needs. How can you exude transformational leadership in your current role, whether it’s at your after-hours jobs, your work-study role, or in student clubs and organizations?


It motivates

Transformational leaders transform others by motivating them to achieve remarkable results. They allow enough room for autonomy so that people can feel empowered yet still receive the support they need to pursue their goals. These types of leaders understand that the best results come from motivating and supporting others.

Motivation is critical in the workplace. If a boss can’t motivate their employees to complete assigned tasks and projects, then they can’t expect to keep them. Motivation increases employee satisfaction, commitment, efficiency, and leads to individual growth and development.

Would you rather your boss, coach, or mentor demand you “need to do XYZ right now” with minimal assistance or would you prefer them to show you and guide you through the process? Everyone is different, but we all appreciate support. When people have a strong support system and feel empowered, they perform better.


It increases performance

Groups and organizations that are led by transformational leaders tend to perform better. Transformational leaders keep their followers focused with high energy levels so that they stay productive. They don’t let anyone lose sight of their goals and they always remember to communicate effectively.

Transformational leaders who focus on developing their followers find that they perform beyond expectations. They acknowledge their followers’ strengths and help them identify and improve their weak spots. By understanding and becoming aware of your blind spots, you can start to focus more on changing into the person you want to be.


It ignites change

In order for organizations and individuals to evolve, they must be willing to adapt over time. When transformational leadership flows from teams and departments throughout entire organizations, people feel more motivated to encourage each other and inspire change.

Transformational leaders strive to create a vision and inspire others to reach their full potential. Think of the coaches and mentors you’ve had throughout your life and how they inspired you and your team to push boundaries. Did they set clear goals and help you obtain them? Did they celebrate your milestones and encourage you to reach even further?

Change encourages us to grow in exponential ways. Without it, we lose progress and innovation. Transformational leaders understand the importance of embracing change and recognize how it sparks personal growth, flexibility, and opportunity.


Who in your life is a transformational leader and has helped you reach your goals? How have you yourself exemplified this for others? Do you coach and mentor others to help them reach their full potential?

We challenge you to inspire those around you and to lead by example.