Inspiring Others Through Transformational Leadership

Have you ever been in the presence of a leader who inspired you by the passion of his or her vision? Have you been part of a group or team that was energized by a participant who charismatically claimed control simply by his or her ability to grasp a situation and mobilize the team to support a common vision? Chances are that you were in the presence of a “transformational leader”.

The term “transformational leadership” was coined in 1978 by leadership expert and Pulitzer Prize winning presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, a transformational leadership style occurs when leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality. It is generally through the strength of their vision and charisma that transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions and motivations to work towards common goals.

In 1985, author Bernard M. Bass of Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations, further developed the concept of transformational leadership. Bass submitted that there were four different components of transformational leadership:

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