Charismatic and Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a leadership style that encourages, inspires, and motivates employees to be innovative and creative (White). It focuses on one’s emotions, moral values, ethical behavior, specific standards, and goals planned for the future. Transformational leadership contains altruistic behaviors as this type of leadership focuses on satisfying people’s various needs and treating them with complete respect. Transformational leaders focus on helping followers grow and improve their performance. They want to help followers perform to their fullest potential and be the best they can be. Political sociologist, James MacGregor Burns expressed his understandings between two types of leadership styles: transactional and transformational. Transactional leadership is a style that promotes good behavior through rewards and bad behavior with punishment (Northouse). For example, if an employee goes above and beyond for their company and achieves their goals and more, the management team might reward this employee with a promotion, in which is then demonstrating transactional leadership. Research says that employees do not necessarily view transactional leaders as trustworthy or as if those types of leaders have the employee’s best interests in mind. Instead, employees tend to lean more toward transformational leadership. This is because transformation leaders display characteristics such as optimism, motivation, acknowledgment of employee’s work, trustworthiness, and inspiration. Leaders who express transformational leadership tend to follow moral behaviors in their everyday lives and they are great role models. Transformational leaders help their followers maintain moral behaviors on a daily basis and guide them into selflessness behavior. Transactional leadership is different from transformational leadership because transactional leaders do not focus on the desires and needs of their followers or focus on helping the follower grow and prosper. Transactional leadership is simply a ‘transaction’. For example, if the follower displays good behavior, they will be rewarded; they are getting something in return for displaying good behavior (2014, Nov. 25). The only reason why transactional leaders are influential on their followers is because the followers know it is best to give the leader the results they want and everyone wins.

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A charismatic leader is charming and persuasive. Charismatic leaders are often referred to as transformational leaders because they share many similar characteristics. Charismatic leaders’ main focus is to make processes and procedures easier and more effective, while transformational leaders goal is to help their followers think and act the same way as the leader while delivering impressive results (2014, Nov. 25). Five effects that charismatic leaders can have on their followers is an increase in trust between the followers and the leader, an increase in similar cognitive thinking, high respect for their leader, an increase in appreciation and admiration for their leader, and viewing the leader as their role model. These effects occur when the charismatic leader has a good and healthy relationship with their followers (Northouse). When the charismatic leader is a role model to the followers, the leader inspires and motivates the team to achieve high goals and overcome more difficult obstacles. The followers of a charismatic leader should be cautious of their charismatic leader becoming self-centered. They could obtain excessive confidence and optimism in which would blind them. Followers should also be cautious of their leading being in denial of problems and failures (Nguyen).

When authentic leaders ‘understand their own values, place followers’ needs above their own, and work with followers to align their interests in order to create a greater common good’, they portray leadership because they are expressing self-knowingness, moral behavior, strategic processing, and relational transparency (Northouse). Authentic leaders are like transformational leaders where they focus on making positive impacts on the people and society and are filled with good intentions for their team and/or organization. Authentic leaders are sincere and lead with their heart (Kruse). By authentic leaders expressing all of these traits, they create happiness within their team, motivation, and increased performance.

Leadership is extremely articulate, and it requires leaders to motivate and inspire their followers to understand and achieve common goals amongst the team. Leaders can obtain many different traits from all different types of leadership styles. Balance is key when it comes to expressing these traits. It’s important for a leader to not be too much of anything, like being too honest, or too confident. Authentic leaders and transformational leaders focus more on the individuals of the team, this is a great tactic to use when trying to increase motivation or productivity. Leadership traits are developed through time through experiences, and not every leader portrays the same ones.

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Charismatic And Transformational Leadership. (2021, May 23). Retrieved November 29, 2022 , from

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