Key Behaviors of Transformational Leaders

Read this section. Keep this information in mind as you head into Unit 3. Transformational leadership and organizational change go hand-in-hand. In your journal, list some connections between transformational leadership, progress, and organizations.

Transformational leaders exhibit individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence.


  • Explain the varying approaches and behaviors that define transformational leadership


  • Transformational leaders show individualized consideration to followers by paying attention to and meeting the needs of followers.
  • Transformational leaders stimulate ideas and creativity from followers by creating a safe environment to challenge the status quo.
  • Transformational leaders have a vision that inspires and motivates followers to achieve important goals.
  • Transformational leaders serve as role models for their followers, allow them to identify with a shared organizational vision, and provide a sense of meaning and achievement.


  • Transformational Leadership

    An approach to leading that enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms.


Transformational leaders challenge followers with an attractive vision and tie that vision to a strategy for its achievement. They engage and motivate followers to identify with the organization's goals and values. Transformational leadership comprises four types of behavior:

  • Individualized consideration or compassionate leadership
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Inspirational motivation
  • Idealized influence or charismatic leadership


Individualized Consideration

Individualized consideration is the degree to which the leader attends to each follower's needs, acts as a mentor or coach to the follower, and listens to the follower's concerns. This behavior can include the following actions:

  • Discussing and empathizing with the needs of individual employees
  • Making interpersonal connections with employees
  • Showing genuine compassion
  • Encouraging ongoing professional development and personal growth of employees


Intellectual Stimulation

Transformational leaders encourage followers to be innovative and creative. Intellectual stimulation springs from leaders who establish safe conditions for experimentation and sharing ideas. They tackle old problems in a novel fashion and inspire employees to think about their conventional methods critically and share new ideas. This type of behavior includes:

  • Encouraging employees' creativity
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Aiming for consistent innovation
  • Empowering employees to disagree with leadership
  • Risk-taking when appropriate to achieve goals


Inspirational Motivation

Leaders with an inspiring vision challenge followers to leave their comfort zones, communicate optimism about future goals and provide meaning for the task at hand. Purpose and meaning provide the energy that drives a group forward. The visionary aspects of leadership are supported by communication skills that make the vision understandable, precise, powerful, and engaging. Followers are willing to invest more effort in their tasks; they are encouraged and optimistic about the future and believe in their abilities. Behaviors that demonstrate inspirational motivation include:

  • Inspiring employees to improve their outcomes
  • Explaining how the organization will change over time
  • Fostering a strong sense of purpose among employees
  • Linking individual employee and organizational goals
  • Aiding employees to succeed to an even greater extent than they expect


Idealized Influence

Transformational leaders act as role models for their followers. Transformational leaders must embody the values that the followers should be learning and internalizing. The foundation of transformational leadership is the promotion of consistent vision and values. Transformational leaders guide followers by providing them with a sense of meaning and challenge. They foster the spirit of teamwork and commitment in the following ways:

  • Promoting a broad, inclusive vision
  • Leading by example
  • Showing a strong commitment to goals
  • Creating trust and confidence in employees
  • Representing organizational goals, culture, and mission

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Last modified: Monday, November 9, 2020, 1:39 PM