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Good Leadership
Tranformational Leadership
Charismatic Leadership
Business, Politics and Religion
Sir Richard Branson
Nelson Mandela
14th Dalai Lama
Transactional Leadership
Tranformational Leadership
Comparison of Transformational and Transactional Leadership
Servant Leadership
Mother Theresa
Mahatma Gandhi

Transformational leadership was initiated by James Macgregor Bundes (1978) and Bernard M. Bass (1985). Sarros, Gray & Densten (2002, p.6) describe transformational leadership as “Motivation others to do more than they originally intended and often more than they thought possible.” In essence it is the process of guiding, inspiring, influencing and building commitment to a goal and empowering a group to accomplish the goal. Transformational leadership is primarily concerned with progress and development (Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003).


Transformational Approach Categories

Transformational leadership approaches can be grouped into five categories:

  1. Idealised Attributes – Leading by means of charisma, a behavior that encourages a follower to trust in the leader. Leaders become role models who are admired, respected and emulated by followers.
  2. Idealised Behaviors – Leading by acting as an influential role model and encouraging followers to share a common vision and goal. Helps others to look at the futuristic state of the group, and inspires acceptance by aligning personal values and interests with the collective group.
  3. Inspirational Motivation – Leading through a visionary approach; raising workers’ expectations and beliefs about the mission and goal through appeals to their emotions. This is done by building relationships with followers through interactive communication, which forms a bond and leads to the shifting of values between both parties to a common goal.
  4. Intellectual Stimulation – Leading by appealing to workers’ sense of inquiry; challenging them by questioning assumptions and encouraging creative problem solving. Involves including followers in problem solving and ensuring mistakes are not publicly criticized and creativity is openly encouraged.
  5. Individualised Consideration – Leading by focusing on the individual and providing coaching and mentoring based on the individuals needs for achievement and growth. The considerate transformational leader recognises and demonstrates acceptance of the followers individual differences in terms of needs and desires.

(Sarros, Gray & Densten, 2002), (Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003).



The above categories can be considered as the core or functional attributes of an transformational leader. These functional attributes lead to accompanying attributes, which are:

Functional Attributes

Accompanying Attributes

Idealized influence / charisma




Risk sharing



Inspirational motivation

Commitment to goals



Intellectual stimulation


Problem solving

Individualized consideration

Personal attention





(Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003)