What kind of leader are you and what kind of leader do you aspire to be? The two main types of leadership that we will discuss today are transactional and transformational leadership. A transactional leader will focus on group performance and day-to-day activities to reach goals. Transformational leaders will on focus on a shared vision, which can be used to motivate and engage the group she or he is leading. Both leadership styles are certainly needed in organizations, and one is not necessarily better than the other. You can find each type of leader throughout all levels of organizations, but often, roles will be a large determinant of what type of lead you have the ability to be.
Expanding on what qualifies as aa transactional leader, there are particular characteristics that help define what a transactional leader is. One characteristic is close supervision of employees and their effect on group performance. This can result in closely monitoring each employees work and understanding where shortfalls have occurred to avoid them in the future. Transactional leadership typically involves a reward-punishment incentive system as well. Finally, transactional leaders operate within the current organization structure and tailor work to fit what that would usually dictate.
Transformational leadership, on the other hand, uses a variety of methods outside of reward and punishment to motivate their team. Transformational leaders are typically role models for their team and demonstrate a shared vision to establish a sense of significance behind the group’s work. This shared vision is an important pillar in motivating employees to complete goals successfully without the need for close work review by the manager. Transformational leaders also establish an environment that allows for “followers” to safely challenge ideas or norms and present ideas of their own. Individual needs from a leader are often considered by transformational leaders, who then work to successfully meet the needs of each employee to enable his or her success.
It should be noted that these two leadership styles, like much else in the world of supply chain, are not mutually exclusive. Both approaches can, and are often, seen working with some traits of one leadership style integrated into the other leadership style. One clear example is in transformational leadership. Transformational leaders are defined as finding various ways to motivate their employees, but that does not mean there is not a reward and punishment system at all. While finding different mechanisms to engage employees is a core tenet, an overperforming employee may still be rewarded for his or her overwhelming success. Regardless of what kind leader you are, it is important to understand different types of leadership and how you can incorporate different leadership techniques to your own unique leadership style. It is also critical to understand that because you are not a manager does not mean you cannot be a leader. Motivating your coworkers or leading the lead on a new project can be excellent ways to practice your leadership skills and prepare for moving up the organizational chart.
After reviewing both transactional leadership and transformational leadership, which style most fits who you are? What style does your boss fall under? Comment below!