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Transormational leadership


we have a new PDR process, which is focusing more on leadership skills. The explanaiton of leadership competency has been based on the theory transformaitonal leadership. Can anyone explain this theory as i have never heard of it?

jayne williams

3 Responses

  1. Transformational leadership
    According to the Center for Leadership Studies, transformational leaders:
    1) Set high standards of conduct and become a role model gaining trust, respect and
    confidence from others; 2) Articulate the future desired state and a plan to achieve it; 3)
    Question the status quo and continuously innovate, even at the peak of success; 4)
    energize people to develop and achieve their full potential and performance.
    ‘Transformational Leadership’ by Bernard Bass is a fairly standard text on the subject. Or try for a short history of leadership.

  2. Transformational Leadership
    There are a number of theories about leadership which exist.

    Trait theory suggests that leaders are born not made.

    Great events theory suggests that circumstances bring out leadership qualities in people.

    Transformational leadership theory suggests that people can choose to become leaders and learn the skills needed to do so – and is the basis of leadership development.

  3. Information about what transformational leadership means
    This isn’t a ‘textbook academic’ theory but a view about what transformational leadership is about: Peter Senge (2003) considers that rather than understanding or recognising the ‘strategic’ question “what is the primary aspiration of the organisation”, “Leaders” often get locked into linear thinking – focusing on sympotmatic, responsive solutions, and in the absence of a primary aspiration – the only motive for change is desperation. In 1990 Senge commented that many successful leaders are ‘systems thinkers’ who have the ability to concentrae on forces of change rather than the day to day organisational issues, and that these ‘systems thinkers’ are successful because they have the ability to view the interrelationships between issues, rather than seeing procedures,issues and systems as being separate. In his view (expressed in 2003) the types of changes confronting organisational systems are immense, in part because the pattern for organisational structures was set up years ago based on the knowledge and thiking appropriate at that time. He contends that despite how well managed, customer focussed, or expert an organisation is – no organisation can manage in isolation from the local or global community, ‘management tools or methods’ therefore have never transformed an organisation. He reflects the Deming philosopy that organisationally the causes of most problems are badly designed systems rather than unmotivated or incompetent individuals. It is the people, the networking and the communications that transform an organisation. The “transformational leader” is a systems thinker with the ability to understand how issues link and the impact that each has on the other.


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