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5 Essential Transformational Leadership Characteristics

To be a great leader, you need to have a thorough understanding of your leadership style and transformational leadership characteristics. While there all sorts of managers, transformational leaders are common in a variety of workplaces. View these five essential transformational leadership characteristics to learn more about how these superiors guide their teams.

click hereTake the What’s My Leadership Style? Assessment from HRDQ to discover your leadership style and transformational leadership characteristics!

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What is the Transformational Leadership Style?

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders inspire and push their teams to innovate, create change, and develop new processes to shape and improve the company. They encourage out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration to reach novel solutions for old problems.

Transformational leaders focus on motivating their teams to do their work, set a strong example for employees to look up to, and facilitate an environment for creative thinking. Rather than taking over tasks themselves, this type of leader sets goals, helps lay the initial groundwork for reaching the goals, and them works alongside their subordinates to complete the objective at hand.

The Five Transformational Leadership Characteristics

Transformational Leadership Characteristics

1. Problem-Solvers

It’s impossible to be a transformational leader without having excellent problem-solving skills. These types of leaders seek out and thrive in situations where they are expected to creatively fix workplace issues. This skill is critical for their success as a manager. 

 

click hereIdentify your dominant problem-solving style with this tool: Problem Solving Style Inventory

 

2. Creative & Innovative Thinkers

The transformational leadership style isn’t just characterized by impeccable problem-solving skills. It’s defined by the method in which these superiors come to solutions. They are creative and innovative thinkers who have a natural, driving curiosity. Transformational leaders are visionaries forging their own path rather than accepting the current systems and processes as the norm.

3. Adaptable

Exploring creative solutions requires trial and error. That said, transformational leaders need to be tolerant of risk. When something they’re testing fails, they need to quickly adapt and change course without breaking a sweat. They also need to have the foresight to see when a plan isn’t working and use strong decision-making skills to choose the next best path to explore.

 

click hereIdentify the qualities of an effective leader with this program: Adapting Your Leadership Style

 

4. Inspirational

Transformational leadership only works when subordinates are genuinely inspired by their superiors. A large part of motivating others includes having excellent communication and persuasion skills. Knowing what to say and how and when to say it is crucial for influencing others to work to the best of their abilities.

5. Team-Oriented

Trust is an important part of transformational leadership. Those who embody this style must fully trust the capabilities of their team. They don’t micromanage their employees. Instead, they guide and work alongside them, knowing that each person can be held accountable and is fully proficient in their day-to-day tasks. Without trust, teamwork would not exist, which is imperative for reaching the innovative solutions transformational leaders seek.

Learn to “Flex” Your Tranformational Leadership Style

Learn to “Flex” Your Tranformational Leadership Style

As with any leadership style, transformational leadership isn’t effective for every single employee. Just like superiors have different ways they prefer to lead, employees have a preferred way they like to take direction and work. In order to inspire each of your team members, it’s imperative to learn how to “flex” your leadership style. “Flexing” refers to the ability to recognize the communication style a person best responds to, then adjusting your communication method to meet their needs. Having this skill will allow you to accommodate and motivate all of your employees, not just the ones that prefer your managerial approach.

For instance, some people prefer more stability and tasks with set rules, which is quite opposite to the way transformational leaders function. Others may respond best to working independently rather than brainstorming with a team. These individuals will greatly benefit from a leader that can identify their needs and then “flex” their style to meet them.

“Flexing” doesn’t mean that you have to become an entirely different type of leader. In fact, it allows you to introduce and ease different learners into the characteristics you value by presenting them in a way they better respond to.

Recommended Assessment
What's My Leadership Style
  • Identify personal leadership styles
  • Capitalize on style strengths
  • Minimize style trouble spots
Learn more

 

Get Started with HRDQ Today!

HRDQ

It’s important to thoroughly understand these five essential transformational leadership characteristics. In order to grow and improve as a superior, you need to have a deep awareness of your leadership style and know how to properly flex it to meet the needs of your employees.

To start leading your team better than ever before, explore HRDQ’s Style Suite for training materials that will assist you in developing your managerial skills. Soon, you and your team will be working together flawlessly to achieve your goals.

 

click hereExplore the HRDQ Style Suite and start developing your team today!

Recommended Assessment
What's My Leadership Style
  • Identify personal leadership styles
  • Capitalize on style strengths
  • Minimize style trouble spots
Learn more
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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.