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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Transformational Leadership

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Leadership theories have been evolving into various forms for decades now, with each of them having its own thought process and providing a model to manage a team effectively.  Transformational leadership is one of those theories and is considered to be a more humane theory compared to other types like a militaristic transactional leadership style. This approach basically provides employees with the inspiration to perform excellent work based on the leader’s personality and example. It also operates on the belief that individuals are able to perform at higher levels when positive motivation is used instead of negative motivation.

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Although many individuals find a lot of good things in transformational leadership, others also find some drawbacks to it.  The following are some advantages and disadvantages of the approach:

Transformational Leadership Advantages

1. It enables a vision to be quickly formulated.

Transformational leadership

The approach stands apart from other types of leadership styles due to its ability to assess the current situation of an organization quickly and then get a vision for its growth and improvement. Transformational leaders properly communicate their visions to other leaders within the organization and to all of the employees in order to get everybody on board. That can help them deal with situations that are challenging since everyone gets to see what the big picture is.

2. Enthusiasm is promoted.

It is said that this leadership model creates a work environment that is enthusiastic and drives a company toward innovation and change. As individuals work through their self-motivation, the approach practically guarantees high levels of output and efficiency.


3. Inspiration is used to motivate individuals.

The vision of transformational leadership aligns with being able to inspire and motivate.  Passion is basically a common trait that allows transformational leaders to motivate members to optimize their performance. To get through hard times, leaders rely on their passion in order to sell vision and head employees in the same direction.

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Transformational Leadership Disadvantages

1. Serious detail challenges may be faced.

Although transformational leaders are well-known for their big-picture visions and inspiration, at times they can struggle with the details. According to Thesisgeek.com experts, this kind of leader needs support from people who are more organized and detail-oriented, meaning that other team members or executive assistants will be needed in order to help maintain the transactional focus to keep the leader’s vision moving in the proper direction.


2. It may overlook truth and reality.

Transformational leaders might fall into the trap of over-relying on emotion and passion to the point that they may have the tendency to overlook truth and reality.  This over-reliance also can restrict their willingness to use logical reasoning and research to face the harsh truths about their company’s situation.

3. There is potential for abuse.

This is a very powerful form of leadership, but it isn’t always used for the common good or in a moral way. Not all leaders who are associated with this approach actually fit the definition. Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler are cited as well as examples of leaders who used this leadership approach.

Those who use transformational leadership can achieve change by motivating their followers to put their individual and short-term interests aside in order to work together towards a common goal.  This approach might sound appealing, but it does have some drawbacks associated with it. So if you plan to implement this type of leadership, it is very important to first weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

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