Transformational leadership can inspire employees to help your small business. For example, by showing your workers how they fit into your vision for the future of your company, you personalize their efforts, making them feel valued. Transformational leaders also empower their employees by offering training and increased responsibility, which enables workers to make a leader’s vision a reality.

Transformational Leaders

Transformational leaders empower their followers to enact change, unlike transactional leaders, who focus on rewarding their followers for enacting change. Suppose a new leader is brought in to save a failing company. A transformational leader might form a bond with the workers and then inspire and empower them to restore the business. In contrast, a transactional leader might devise financial incentives for employees, hoping to motivate them to find ways to restore the business.

Need for Change

Four major challenges face transformational leaders, according to the book “Leadership: Theory, Application, and Skill Development,” by Robert N. Lussier and Christopher F. Achua. The first challenge is to make a compelling case for change. For example, to save a failing company, a transformational leader must show workers that the status quo is unsustainable and that their long-term interests depend on systemic change.

Inspiring Followers

The second challenge for transformational leadership is to inspire workers with a compelling vision of the future. A transformational leader must give employees hope and show that their concerted efforts can create a future that benefits everyone in the entire organization.

Implementing Change

Leading the transition is the third challenge for transformational leaders. It’s one thing to sell a dream but another to make it happen. Transformational leaders must empower workers to achieve change, motivate them during tough times and deal with resistance, which is inevitable. For example, some employees might not want to change or might have other ideas they’d rather implement. To bring the organization to the next level, transformational leaders must overcome this resistance, perhaps by working harder to get the dissenters on board.

Making Change Permanent

Finally, transformational leaders must make the change permanent. Old habits die hard, so transformational leaders must convince workers that former problems will recur if they drift back into negative behaviors. It also might be necessary to create a special task force to ensure progress continues and to design incentive programs to sustain motivation on a permanent basis.