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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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Brian Tracy on Transformational Leadership

Hi Leaders

Brian Tracy is a world renown leader in his field of personal and professional development. He is certainly someone who has walked his talk, and guided the transformation of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people around the world.

A true transformational leader worth listening to.

Check out his article on Transformational Leadership here



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Friday, May 30, 2008

Transformational Leadership & the Wisdom Age

In Stephen Covey’s 8th Discipline, he outlines the transformation of our working lives from an Industrial age to a Knowledge worker age. Anyone would agree that certainly our first world economies are firmly rooted in the knowledge worker age, whereas our third world economies are perhaps a bit behind that.

What comes after the Knoweldge worker is the Age of Wisdom, and it is Transformational Leadership that lubricates the transition between the two.
In a knowledge filled world, we have access to huge quantitative of information, especially via the internet. We get to take in, process and make use of more information than ever before. This does not mean that it is ever turned into Wisdom.

KNOWLEDGE = Information Applied
WISDOM = Knowledge & Reflection over time

We can apply, process and refine all the data we want to in the pursuit of Wisdom, but if our efforts remain in the transactional realm, merely shifting the data around, breaking it apart and reconstituting it, we miss the vital element of our own reflection. Without our own reflection over time we stay in the realm of the mind, and never reach the transformational levels to really break through.

A transformational leader will most likely be pressed for time, especially during the early stage of perhaps crises, and so it is important to break away from the never-ending grind of slogging away, and lead some personal transformation. Making time to reflect during the day, or perhaps before or after, creates space in our compact lives. Many of the most successful top executives take time to reflect or meditate during the day. In a world that we do not have complete control over, having this time is time that you control. Transformational leadership can be a demanding undertaking, and if you are the leader, but burning out, how will your team see you, and more importantly, who will they be copying.

As we move from being efficient with our time and energy, how do we make the move to being really great at who we are, and what we do? How to we make the leap of faith to surrender and trust in our purpose, letting go of the need to control all that happen around us?

When will we have the wisdom to let life guide us, to make the time to reflect and listen to our instincts and follow them, in line with life?
Our world is driven by our drivenness, at the expense of humanity. We forsake our higher purposes to be slave to our lower desires, and then complain that we are not making progress.

Transformational Leadership calls us to take a stand for something greater in our world. It allows us to choose to follow our higher calling in life, and to call others to do the same; to invite others to access their own transformational leadership potential, and bring it into the world, in the service of humanity and our collective good.

In our wisdom, we can do this. I can do this, you can do this.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Obama Barack the Transformational Leader


The media these days is abuzz with the next US Presidential elections. With Hillary Clinton and Obama Barack in the running, this provides an interesting scenario for us to relate to Transformational Leadership and Transactional Leadership.

According to some, Obama seems to have qualities of a Transformational Leader. He is certainly charasmatic in the way he is appealing to the American people. In a time that requires transformational leadership, we have someone like Barack that has the potential to deliver that reality.

The question is, are the American people that are casting their votes ready for that kind of leadership? Many speak of wanting a great leader to transform the way we are with each other, ourselves and the world. Does it really take another Great Leader to do this for us, or has the time come for each one of us to be our own transformational leader?

Whether or not Obama Barack is voted in to being the President of the USA, there still exists the ever real and present opportunity for each one of us to claim our part in the transformation of ourselves and the world around us. If we wait for others to do this, it may never happen. We must lead the charge, and vote for empowered, enlightened leaders to collectively show us the way on a global scale.

Have a great week,



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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Do you live Transformational Leadership?


So you've read the theory of how Transformational Leadership works, you may have attended some training or even tried some the of the new ways of being out, with success or failure.

But do you LIVE it?

There is a difference between knowing something and living it. You might learn something new in your life, but until it becomes part of you, it might just dissapear overnight, if you don't keep your eye on it. When you LIVE it, the new way of being, habit behaviour or perspective is inside you. You do not have to MAKE it happen, it happens naturally. IT is part of your daily awareness and program.

Being a Transformational Leader requires a commitment to BE something different. Yes it's about leading change in ourganisations and others, but do you lead it in yourself? Are you familiar with your own resistance and what it takes for youto change.

When you LIVE something, it speaks through you. You don't have to become something ever time you want to make an impact. You make an impact because of who you are firstly, and then because of what you do - both are important and work hand in hand. This goes for Transformational Leadership and Transactional Leadership. both work hand in hand. Its not that one is "better" than the other. They are part of the same system, just different expressions of your potential.

There is the lesson of a Cherokee man teaching his grandchildren about life.

He says to them,
“A fight is going on inside me. It is between two wolves:
One wolf is evil—he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, anxiety, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, competition and superiority.
The other wolf is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, faith and laughter.”

He then tells his grandchildren that the same fight is going on inside of them and also inside of every person. The children think about this for a moment and then one of them asks his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old man then replies,
“The one that you feed.”

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Transformational Leadership Movie

Transformational Leadership often involves taking charge of a situation that otherwise would have been failure, or at least failed to achieve its outcomes. When this creates losses in financial business, often times we can become frustrated or disappointed- when it costs lives, that's when it really means business, and human beings have the ability to stand up and take action.

On the subject of war, and fighting for what you believe in, here is a movie worth seeing:

Twelve O'clock High (1949)

A fantastic movie about leadership - a study of transactional, transitional and transformational leadership. Starring Gregory Peck, the movie is set in World War II and revolves around the 918th US Bomber group stationed in England . Although their commander is an efficient leader, he does not have what it takes to lead the team to victory, and they suffer heavy casualties .

Another commander replaces him, and effectively guides and leads the group to become one of the best bomber groups. He pushes his men to the limit and helps them discover their own strengths. This give them a sense of empowerment and pride in themselves.

It is available from Amazon.
Enjoy it, and I look forward to hearing your comments.

Warm regards


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