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April 04, 2018 Wednesday 12:41:13 PM IST

Are you a Transformational Leader?

Leadership Instincts

Being a leader is a huge responsibility. But are we all born leaders? No. And it is no disqualification either. Some may have innate leadership skills, while others have to strive for it. However, to excel as a leader, one needs to understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses while being able to appreciate the demands of our environment.

The question of ‘leadership’ has become more crucial than ever before. In fact, studies on leadership in the past half century have only grown, offering many new theories and frameworks for exploring what it means to be a leader, and how to master the skill.

One of the major theories is that of ‘transformational leadership’ . The concept was first put forward by James MacGregor Burns, an American political sociologist, in the 1970s.  In transformational leadership, the leader connects with the followers in such a way that morality and motivation become the key drivers of leadership. In other words, the leader leads by example and is above reproach.

Burns identifies four steps that lead to transformational leadership:

1.Idealised influence, or charisma:

Transformational leaders have an uncanny ability to make you want to follow the vision they establish. 

2.Inspirational motivation:

Communication is a vehicle of inspiration for transformational leaders; they use keywords to encourage others and inspire action. 

3.Intellectual stimulation:

Transformational leaders inspire others to think more deeply, challenge assumptions, and constantly innovate. 

4.Individualised concern:

Finally, while focused on the common good, transformational leaders equally show care and concern for individuals.