Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Transactional vs Transformational Leadership

Hi there,

Here is a quick overview of the differences between transactional and transformational managers and leaders.

The transactional leader influences others by appealing to self-interest, primarily through the exchange of rewards and services. The relationship between this type of leader and the follower is seen as a series of rational exchanges that enable each to reach their own goals. Transactional managers supply all the ideas and use rewards as their primary source of power. Followers comply with the leader when it’s in their own interest - the relationship continues as long as the reward is desirable to the follower, and both the leader and the follower see the exchange as a way of achieving their own ends. Traditional management is focussed on this way of leading, particularly if looked at through the lens of budgeting and cost control.

The transformational leader inspires followers to not only perform as expected, but to exceed expectations - transformational leaders motivate followers to work for goals that go beyond immediate self-interest, where what is right and good becomes important - these leaders transform the needs, values, preferences and aspirations of followers. They do this so that the interests of the wider group replaces the self-interest of individuals within that group. Leaders and managers that take this approach are more focussed on the intrinsic value of the human and the potential lying within.

It is not that one style is better than the other. Both are neccessary, but using one to the exclusion of the other will lead to limited results.


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Monday, October 19, 2009

Transformational Leadership Courage

My biggest mistakes have been made while trying to prove that I was different than what I actually am.

My most satisfying experiences have been those moments when I was real - I said what I meant, I meant what I said, and my behavior and my feelings all matched exactly. Many of those experiences were laced with anxiety, because I was laying everything on the line.

Others were borne of my willingness to accept the consequences either way, because I just couldn't stand being bound by my fear anymore...and the scariest experiences involved those who matter the most to me.

If you ever find your life on the dull side, tell someone how much you love them ...
Really HOW MUCH you love them.

Or tell them something you've been hiding from them.

Or both.

That'll do it.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Step-by-Step Transformational Leadership

Dear Leader,

Ever lost your way on your transformational leadership journey? You are not alone. Part of the unfolding nature of being a leader is about leaning into the future, remembering who you fundamentally are and being willing to rediscover your purpose and passion.

Only once you do this will you be able to effectively lead others as a transformational leader.

At times we all lose our way. Conditions and motivations change; inertia takes over. Good intentions fade and old habits take over. We get comfortable in what we know. Our vision fogs over and we lose sight of the path ahead, ending up simply taking the next step, without knowing WHY....

we can't see the way out
or the way through
this is the way.

All that is needed
is one more step
and then another
and another......

K.Bradford Brown
(founder of

In times like these we need a way to reconnect with ourselves again.

Find your way of doing this, be it getting out into nature, being honest with yourself, recommitting to your personal disciplines, revisiting your goals list, or whatever helps you find your purpose and passion again.

To lead transformation in others, know how to lead transformation in yourself.
Light the fire within & fan those flames, whatever it takes.


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