What Are the Qualities of a Transformational Leader?

For any transformational leader to be successful, follower's trust and confidence is imperative.
For any transformational leader to be successful, follower's trust and confidence is imperative. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A transformational leader is one who not only pushes and motivates his followers or team members, but also tries to change them into self-disciplined and motivated individuals. Transformational leaders are what ailing and troubled companies look to in hopes of turning around an enterprise. It took a transformational leader like Lee Iacocca to turn around the fortunes of the Chrysler Corporation when the American automobile market was stormed by Japanese cars.

Case Creation

Don't change things when everything is going fine. For a transformational leader to bring about a change there needs to be a problem or a scenario which pleads for a solution or change. The transformational leader must make a case for change, outlining a course of action which may have to get the approval of higher authorities before it can be implemented.

Idealized Influence

Idealized influence is trying to build a scenario where the followers try to emulate or replicate what the leader does. Every transformational leader must look to change his followers permanently and not for the time being. This influencing quality of the leader is respected and the steps taken by the leader for bringing about a radical change in the individual, team or organization is readily accepted.

Inspirational Motivation

Transformational leaders must make their followers understand the meaning of the work and how much impact it can have on the individual and the organization as a whole. They visualize the appealing future for the follower and make the follower realize how he could contribute towards the building up of the future. The leader encourages the follower to look beyond individual goals and sets higher standards for excellence. This motivation in the follower is instilled through conversations, speeches, highlighting positives and teamwork-stimulation. President Kennedy's vision of seeing an American on the moon by 1970 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream," speech are all examples of this trait.

Intellectual Stimulation

Intellectual stimulation is making the followers aware of the problems that they have within themselves and giving them the confidence to solve the problems themselves. Transformational leaders put across a situation or problem in front of the follower and ask them to solve the problem or address the situation in an innovative and creative way. Confidence and a feeling of authority is instilled in the follower to address any situation without fear of punishment.

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