According to Northouse (2018), bass identified the following four transformational leadership factors:
1. Idealized Influence is the component of leadership where a leader leads in a way that inspires his or her followers to want to follow. Leaders that are able to lead with idealized influence lead in a way that creates trust with followers. Leaders foster trust by typically leading in a moral and ethical manner and are characterized by their followers as a person that does the right thing.
In my career I have experienced many leaders that I respected and chose to follow due to their high morality and desire to do the right thing. However, one particular leader stands out. I currently work for a large scale medical provider and our Chief Medical Officer (CMO), is someone that leads with idealized influence, people want to follow him because he inspires us all to do the right thing and to administer medicine in a way that positions us all to deliver on our mission, which is delivering hello humankindness. Furthermore, our CMO teaches new providers, we are an academic medical provider, to deliver hello humankindness and reach people on a personal level; building rapport and establishing relationships that are built on trust, respect, and transparency for the greater good of humanity instead of for the good of making money.
2. Inspirational Motivation- According to Northouse (2018), “This factor is descriptive of leaders who communicate high expectations to followers, inspiring them through motivation to become committed to and a part of the shared vision in the organization” (section 8.1, para. 25). Leaders that chose to create inspiration do so by creating a work enviornement that fosters the desire for his or her staff to want to complete the work in the prescribed manner because it is a way that is mutually beneficial to the organization, team and department. Leaders that creation inspirational motivation clearly communicate expectations and goals.
3. Intellectual Stimulation is leadership that creates a desire within followers to challenge the status quo by being innovative, thinking outside of the box, and by creating two way communication. Followers that experience intellectual stimulation are constantly thinking about different and more efficient ways to complete the work without being asked to do so. intellectual stimulation is present when staff is engaged and thinking critically.
4. Individualized Consideration is leading in way that seeks to listen to staff for the purposes of helping to continuously move forward, to evolve in their career and in their work. Leaders that exhibit individualized consideration do so by spending time with each person on their team to develop them, to coach them and to position them to achieve their goals; they do this in a unique and individualized way for each person. In my current role, I meet with each person on my team monthly for a one on one. During this time we talk about desires and goals. We partner together to create goals and milestones to work towards them, even if the followers desire is to leave the department. Those that are constantly moving towards their goals and being positioned to exhibit newly learned and mastered skills have a tendency to be more engaged and have a desire to complete the work in a way that efficient and mutually beneficial.
Transformational leadership is concerned with leading people in a way that creates the desire for staff to be engaged and to complete work in the prescribed manner whereas transnational leadership is more concerned with completing work to achieve a set of desired outcomes, like the attainment of a bonus. Transformational leadership is characterized by intrinsic motivation versus transactional leadership that is more about extrinsic motivation.
Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
I really enjoyed this quote about transformational leadership, “Through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations
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to work towards common goals” (Cherry, 2020, para. 4). Northouse (2018) expands on that definitaion using Bass’s four components of transformational leadership, followers will reach a performance that is beyond expectations.
Bass suggested that there were four components of transformational leadership (Northouse, 2018):
Intellectual Stimulation – where leaders challenge the status quo and encourage creativity. This has been my experience working under Brian Cornell at Target for the last 5 years. He literally turned the company around with a new vision and values. He challenged us to work smarter and with everything we do, put the guests needs foremost. That is how our teams developed adaptive clothing for children, reimagined the stores, and created over 26 store brands.
Individualized consideration – where leaders encourage individual followers with open communication. All feel invited and welcome to share opinions.
Inspirational motivation – where leaders offer a clear vision and pass on their passion of that vision to the followers. Cornell also set out a crystal-clear vision during the first couple of years that influenced every decision made. If there were good ideas that did not support the three things, then it was not approved to move forward. Those three things were to fix our distribution system, improve the .com experience and remodel our aging fleet of stores.
Idealized influence – where leaders are role models for followers. The leaders inspire trust and respect among the followers; and eventually, the followers internalize the values and ideals of the leader.
Transactional leaders will lead their teams to expected outcomes, and that is not a bad thing. In contrast, transformational leaders will lead their teams to accomplish goals that are beyond the expected outcomes.
Cherry, K. (2020) Transformational Leadership A Closer Look at the Effects oftransformational Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-transformational-leadership-2795313#citation-1
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Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.