Leadership varies depending on the type of organisation. Authoritarian leaders are those who use their positions of power to force others to do what they want. Laissez-faire leaders let everyone do what they want, so long as they get the job done.
These are the most common forms of leadership, but there are a few others. One such form of leadership is called transformational leadership, in which the leader and subordinates work together to achieve organisational goals. In this style, the leader focuses on inspiring subordinates to change and grow as people, often by modelling good behaviours.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between transactional and transformational leadership and how they can impact your business.
Transactional vs Transformational Leadership: The Difference
Both transactional and transformational leaders have the same goal in mind, but their methods differ greatly. A transactional leader focuses on the short-term and expects immediate results from subordinates. A transformational leader focuses on the long term and is able to inspire subordinates to produce better results. Below, we’ll go over more about transactional and transformational leadership and discuss how you can implement them in your own organisation.
Key differences between transactional and transformational leadership
The chart above presents the differences between transactional and transformational leadership side-by-side. Understanding these differences can be the first step to implementing them in your own organisation.
Transactional leaders see the purpose of organisational leadership as getting things done. They are concerned with achieving some end result. Because they are driven by numbers, transactional leaders have a tendency to be more concerned with efficiency.
Transformational leaders, on the other hand, see the purpose of organisational leadership as inspiring others to change and grow as people. They are concerned with a subordinate’s performance on a task, but they are more concerned with the person’s overall well-being.
Transactional leaders are often concerned with their subordinates’ performance. They are more interested in the outcome of the activity than they are in the process. As such, they tend to have a clear idea of what they want to be done before they even begin.
Transformational leaders, on the other hand, see their subordinates as people. They are interested in how the other person feels about their work. They are interested in what the other person has to say about the work and often encourage subordinates to ask questions or voice concerns.
In order for you to understand the differences between transactional and transformational leadership, you have to understand their similarities. Both types of leaders have the same goal in mind: to get things done. In the end, both types of leaders expect people to demonstrate the same level of performance.
The difference lies in their method. Transactional leaders want to see results immediately. As such, they expect to be able to monitor their subordinates’ progress as they go. They also want to be able to quantify results in order to measure how much of a difference they make.
Both transactional and transformational leadership are important styles of leadership. Transactional leaders are concerned with getting the job done. Transformational leaders, on the other hand, are always concerned with the long-term well-being of the employee. Adapting both styles and knowing when to use each is a skill all management-level employees should develop.
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