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decisiveness and optimism about the vision and its implementation

Transformational leaders are described to hold positive expectations for followers, believing that they can do their best. As a result, they inspire, empower, and stimulate followers to exceed normal levels of performance. Transformational leaders also focus on and care about followers and their personal needs and development.[Transformational leaders fit well in leading and working with complex work groups and organizations, where beyond seeking an inspirational leader to help guide them through an uncertain environment, followers are also challenged and feel empowered; this nurtures them into becoming loyal, high performers.

There are 4 components to transformational leadership, sometimes referred to as the 4 I’s:

  • Idealized Influence (II) – the leader serves as an ideal role model for followers; the leader “walks the talk,” and is admired for this. A transformational leader embodies the qualities that he/she wants in his/her team. In this case, the followers see the leader as a model to emulate. For the followers, it is easy to believe and trust in a transformational leader.
  • Inspirational Motivation (IM) – Transformational leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate followers through having a vision and presenting that vision. Combined, these first two I’s are what constitute the transformational leader’s charisma. A transformational leader manages to inspire the followers easily with clarity. The transformational leader convinces the followers with simple and easy-to-understand words as well as with their own image.
  • Individualized Consideration (IC) – Transformational leaders demonstrate genuine concern for the needs and feelings of followers and help them self-actualize. This personal attention to each follower assists in developing trust among the organization’s members and their authority figure(s). For example, the transformational leader can point out the problems of a member working in a group. From this perspective, the leader can work towards training and developing a follower who is having difficulties in a job. This is an important element because teams are able to rely on and work together so decisions can be made more quickly, the transformational leader increases their buy-in[
  • Intellectual Stimulation (IS) – the leader challenges followers to be innovative and creative, they encourage their followers to challenge the status quo. A common misunderstanding is that transformational leaders are “soft,” but the truth is that they constantly challenge followers to higher levels of performance.