Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is the evil villain to transformational leadership. Now, there's nothing evil about this style of leading but the two are usually linked together when studying theories. Transactional leading is often referred to as managerial leadership, most likely due to it's values taken from management studies but this isn't something to really put off any of us leaders.

Transactional Leadership Definition

Unlike the transformational model the transactional leaders focus on keeping the statu- quo and aren't interested in transforming the future in any way. Transactional wants everything to stay the same and spend their lives monitoring and keeping everything at the level that it needs to be at to stay consistent. These leaders focus on the details of how employees work and make sure that no deviation is taken away from the plan. This leadership style is really beneficial in times of crisis or in emergency situations where consistency and reliability are absolutely fundamental for success.

Transactional Leadership

1. Transactional responds to situations in a methodical and controlled manor.

2. Controls teams by continual maintenance of procedures and consistency. It believes correct actions will improve overall performance.

3. Places value on organizational structure and culture. Transactional's compliment corporate structures.

4. Employees and team member's achieve their goals through rewards and punishments set by the leader in question.

5. The Leader motivates employees and team members by appealing to the self interest of the individual

Transformational Leadership

1. Transformational is very proactive in the way it responds to situations it likes change and adaption.

2. Focusing on the individual to take initiative and be innovative, it focuses on the use of creativity and practical innovation to problem solve and improve.

3. Maintains constant purpose to change organizational norms and procedures. It believes in constant change and innovation.

4.Employees and team member's through transformational ideology and higher moral values.

5. The leader motivates the employees and team member's by encouraging them to put the groups goals first the vision they're working towards.

Final Words on Transactional Leadership

Although this style of leading fits really well into some other leadership theories, it has elements and binds well into how our leadership characteristics outwork. We focus on characteristics because they really define the way in which we lead. Transactional leading isn't inferior or 'bad' in the field of leading but it can be outworked in the wrong situations and even wrongly in the best situations.

In a really post-modern environment this leadership style is incorporated quite often to appeal to the self interest of post moderns. To those of us passionate about honest and passionate leading it's a little sad to see the need for such a short sighted leadership style, however it should be used in the right environment to get certain results.


If you liked transactional leadership then you should really look at our transformational leading page for more information regarding these two topics.

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