Transformational Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

Table of Content

Transformational Leadership Introduction

Transformational Leadership where leaders are able to initiate substantial innovation and change, Smit et al (2011:323). Theories of leadership have emerged in various ways for decades, each with its own thought process and a blueprint for successful team management. Transformational leadership is one of those theories, and is considered to be a more humane theory compared to other types like a militaristic transactional leadership style. It is a kind of leadership where leaders and followers work together to achieve higher levels of motivation and morale in teams.

The transformational leaders inspire people instead of dictating changes in their team, to shift their staff’s attitudes, aspirations or motives for working towards a shared goal. While there are a lot of good in transformational leadership, there are also some drawbacks in it. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of transformational leadership.

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Advantages of the Transformational Leadership

Communicate inspiring visions, this approach stands out from other forms of leadership in its ability to quickly evaluate the current situation of an organization and to articulate a vision for its development and growth. Through passion and influence, the leader communicates her vision to employees to get everyone on board. They are also good at identifying gaps or problems in a vision process which helps them to make changes or recommendations for immediate correction of the situation. Through passion and influence the transformational leaders properly communicate their visions to other leaders within the organization and to all of the employees.

As their charisma tends to sell their followers the moralities of the dream, the acceptance of the new vision spreads rapidly down the company hierarchy to get everyone to the same page and Employees are inspired to do what’s expected of them because they view the whole work experience as a purposeful and enjoyable adventure. Transformation leaders are ordinary people who turn up every day to try and do their best in the world in every way

It’s about a dream, enthusiasm , passion and vision, and Jeff Bezos founder of e-commerce colossus Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle, complies with these guidelines. Transformational leadership style doesn’t stop with inspiring words, it is developed in Amazon’ leadership principles.

In a Quora post about Amazon’s leadership principles, Arun Prasath, a principal engineer at Amazon, describes how the principles are ingrained in the company’s culture. “The principles are embodied in the natural way of thought and the common language spoken on a day-to-day basis by Amazonians regardless of function, domain, role, level, business model or target market.” – Arun Prasath, Principal Engineer at Amazon.

Motivating your team, The vision of transformational leadership aligns with being able to inspire and motivate. Passion is basically a universal trait that helps transformational leaders to get their members to optimize performance. Bezos and Amazon obtain the consent and dedication to elevate team vision by knowing the interests and dislikes of the staff they know what motivates them and what doesn’t. They know that to get through hard times, they need to rely on their passion in order to sell vision and head employees in the same direction.

Enthusiasm is promoted, Transformational leaders creates a work environment that is enthusiastic and drives a company towards innovation and changes because enthusiasm is contagious, if followers see their leader being enthusiastic and successful in their pursuit of a new vision or goal, then they want to experience that same enthusiasm and success as well. Which leads to higher productivity rates, higher team morale rates and lower levels of follow-up turnover.

Risk Taking, Transformational leaders look at a pattern, challenge the pattern, and study new patterns to find new possibilities. They continuously challenge assumptions to find new solutions to old problems. Therefore Transformational leaders tend to be creative, To be more creative, you need a good dose of imagination and creativity. To create positive change in the company you must be able to think outside the box and you must be willing to take risks as well. Because you are trying to obtain a visionary goal, something transformative and different, you won’t have a paved out road ahead of you. In order to accomplish great things, it requires you to put yourself on the line to take risks and face challenge.

Determination, Transformation leaders rely on the highest standards they speak about the tenacity of completing the race irrespective of the obstacles your way through, the theory of determination according to Jeff Bezos, requires that you rely on your courage, stamina, power and perseverance to achieve the vision , by displaying endurance, you show employees that hard work pays off in the end.

It encourages ongoing learning and development, Transformational leaders do more than work toward a final goal or vision. They constantly working on achieving greater productivity standards and efficiency for themselves and their followers. This leadership style is one of the best at having people engage with the learning process for this position. Such leaders strive to improve their employees’ intellects, create a supportive community and provide individualized opportunities for learning. In return, they usually gets a higher degree of commitment and success from their team.

Transformational leaders are excellent communicators, Lack of team communication is one of the biggest issues corporations faces. When team members are not properly informed of job duties, expectations, or project stipulations, then they cannot be fully productive. Transformational leaders are excellent communicators, they provide consistent feedback to their followers to keep them pointed toward the vision or goal being worked toward.

Disadvantages of the Transformational Leadership

Can Lead to Employee Burnout, While some will feel inspired by a transformational leader, others feel their presence as a constant pressure. Transformational leaders put a lot of emphasis on authenticity – living and breathing the company culture and values, this relentless push to fulfil the grand vision and constantly take pride in the company’s accomplishments can lead to some workers becoming demotivated and burnout. It sends the message that much more is required than simply turning up, doing a great job, and then going home.

It can face serious detail challenges, While transformational leaders are known for their inspirations and big picture visions, they would struggle with detail orientation at times. Experts claim that more comprehensive and coordinated people would need support from these types of leaders, which means that certain managers, assistants or other team members will be required to help sustain a transactional emphasis that can keep these leaders’ vision going in the right direction.

Transformational leadership often lacks a structure, The rigid and strict structure is one of the most influential critiques of transactional leadership, But when it comes to transformational leadership, the absence of a consistent structure is seen as its weakness. When it comes to structure there needs to be the right balance of firmness and versatility. In most transformational leadership situations, a serious problem may be the lack of any kind of framework at all.

The workers and even the leader themselves will exploit the lack of structure, undermining the morale and productivity of the entire team. An example is Eastman Kodak, for nearly a century, no company commercialized the camera as successfully as Kodak, whose breakthroughs included the Brownie camera in 1900, Kodachrome colour film, the handheld movie camera, and the easy-load Instamatic camera. However due to lack of structure, they tried expanding into different fields but continued to fail , Its stock price is now about 96 percent below the peak it hit in 1997.

Goals of transformational leaders may be far-fetched, Transformation leaders are people who rely on passion, excitement and determination to accomplish something. They feel that if they have these qualities they can do whatever they want, and they make sure they pass them on to their followers too.

However, at times, this often optimistic outlook can be a justification for them to turn a blind eye to real issues they may encounter. They may not be willing to accept the reality they face, especially if it is a ‘not so attractive’ reality. Instead of logic and reasoning this dependence on feelings may be extremely detrimental to the whole team. Eg, Borders was an international book and music retailer, founded by two entrepreneurial brothers while at university.

With locations all around the world but mounting debt,refusing to transition to the new business environment of digital and online books. Its missteps included holding too much debt, opening too many stores as well as jumping into the e-reader business to late. This over-reliance restricted their willingness to delve into research and logical reasoning to face harsh truths about the situation of their companies.

It carries the potential for abuse, this kind of leadership is strong, but not always used morally and for the good of the popular. But much of the time the interpretation of ‘doing it the right way’ by the transformational leader is simply the wrong way for the organisation and the people inside the organisation.

Transformational leadership has a lot of advantages that make it not only attractive but also feasible to adopt, While it has proved popular and catapulted many businesses to great heights, this is only possible if the leader works for the common good A transformational leader often stridently embraces a dream that isn’t a force for good. In reality not all those that are sometimes associated with this method match the definition. As you can see, Experts often cite Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden as examples of transformational leaders, so there can be a dark side to this style of leadership.

Leaders Lose Power If People Disagree With Them, Transformational leadership depends on internally motivated workers to work hard, so if those workers are not listening, thinking, and engaging with the goal, there would be a lack of intrinsic motivation. Therefore Leaders have to be cautious with the carrots they dangle to motivate their workers. When a leader makes a commitment, its workers have every right to expect follow-through,leaders have to be cautious with the carrots they dangle to inspire their workers.

When a leader makes a commitment, its workers have every right to expect follow-through Worse, inadequate transactional motivators (rewards and punishments) may be in place to promote some kind of response, and that imbalance is the reason why change efforts will fail. Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Won’t Get You There explains that when leaders offer suggestions or ideas, employees hear them as commands or promises. Failing to deliver on a promise — no matter how large or small — will violate the trust of employees.

Only organization itself benefits, The transformational leader continually inspires and motivates the employees to contribute to the improvement of the team and working well towards the organization’s goal. Although on the first glance this might seem like no problem at all, critics have pointed out that this kind of scheme does little to benefit the staff themselves. The organization itself has only one flow of control – from the leader to the workers, and only one aspect that profits from the process. While this may not always seem like it, it leaves little room for personal development.

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Transformational Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages. (2020, Aug 05). Retrieved from

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