Transformational Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages Explored.

by Chris Futcher

Transformational Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages Explored - Cavendish Wood - Blog Post (1)

Digital transformation is taking place on a worldwide scale, and the C-suite executives spearheading your company's shift need to use the right type of leadership to make it happen. Getting to grips with issues such as high costs, lack of staff engagement and resistance to change can be challenging, but by taking these transformational leadership advantages and disadvantages into account before you begin, you'll be better equipped to implement the process successfully. 



Here are some of the benefits of this type of leadership:

#1: Lowers Turnover Costs.

Inspiring leaders keep staff more often and for longer than other types of leaders. They are usually also able to keep customers, too, because of the appeal this kind of leader has. A transformational leader tries to satisfy both the company’s needs and his/her own at the same time. This means all workers feel like they have a specific role to play in the team, which keeps them engaged and lowers the cost of staff turnover.


#2: Gets Staff Engaged.

Getting your staff engaged and motivated is vital for reaching the highest possible productivity levels. A transformational leader is good at recognising the needs of their followers, which enables them to find ways to inspire people to do their best work.


#3: Drives Change.

For companies to improve they must be willing to change. Transformational leaders get staff on board and excited about new happenings. They can sell the idea of changes better if they believe in the process themselves, which results in everyone reaching their full potential.



#4: Spots Gaps.

One of the most important aspects of the advantages and disadvantages of transformational leadership is the ability to spot gaps and problems in a vision and come up with changes to solve them quickly. Leaders can also “sell” the new solution to their followers, which means it gets adopted right away.


#5: Creates Passion.

Excitement is catchy, and when people see others happy and having a good time they want to share in the experience. If workers see their leader excited about a new vision or goal they get interested as well, which leads to better team spirit, a higher level of productivity, and less turnover of both staff and clients.


#6: Encourages Learning.

A transformational leader does more than just work towards a final goal or vision. He or she also encourages staff to learn new skills. This helps to build a healthy culture in the company and ends in better detail orientation and good overall work from the staff.


#7: Solves Problems.

When we compare this type of leadership to transactional leadership that loads making all decisions and solving all problems on the leader, it’s easy to see why transformational leadership promotes collaboration between workers. This leads to them being more creative and coming up with new ideas more often.

Transformational Leaders Solve Problems


#8: Improves Communications.

One of the biggest problems in companies relates to the way they communicate with workers. When staff don’t have the right information about their jobs, what managers expect or the needs of a project, they can’t do their work properly. An advantage of using a transformational leadership style is that managers must provide regular feedback to their followers to keep them headed in the right direction. This forces better communication, which delivers better results.


#9: Boosts Morale.

Companies that have struggled with low staff morale or indifference, whether over the short term or long term, can boost morale and change the working environment by bringing in transformational leaders to break workers out of the routine. This type of leadership understands that strong, healthy relationships are at the heart of all business operations, and boosting morale helps employees to want to improve their relationships with each other and with customers.



#10: Focuses on Ethics

Ethical behaviour plays a large role in a transformational leadership style, which aims to change a company’s corporate values to include higher levels of fairness and justice. This type of leadership gives a wider view of leadership than other methods, while emphasizing the followers’ needs, values and morals. An authentic approach to work means team members are always focused on doing the right thing in the right way.


Would you like to learn more about transformational leadership and how it could benefit your organisation?

If your answer is "yes!" Then take a look at our free eBook: Transformational Leadership: What it's for & how to use it.



Of course, few things in life have no disadvantages, and transformational leadership is not an exception. The secret is to assess whether the pros outweigh the cons in your particular situation and to make the decision that’s best for your company.

Here are some of the issues to watch out for:


#1: Missing the Boat.

Research shows that in some instances, employers thought they were providing transformational leadership when in fact they weren’t. From the worker’s viewpoint, the way they were managed was actually a transactional focus, which is the opposite. Instead of treating workers as real members of the decision-making process, leaders were treating employees as subordinates and trying to exchange rewards for performance. 


#2: Doing Things by Committee.

This happens when employees feel everything needs to be decided by a large group of people, which leads to some withdrawing and refusing to take part, while others get involved in constant conflict. In a small business, transformational leadership can work well because of the limited number of people, but in a large corporation, it works better when selected employees represent the others—rather than trying to have everyone involved equally.

Doing Things By Committee - Transformation Leadership Disadvantages


#3: Difficulty and Risk of Abuse.

Transformational leadership is a complex idea arising from several different leadership theories. This makes it difficult to learn or to teach, and true transformational leadership is more of a personality trait. It also carries a risk of being abused, because the leader’s position in this model is mostly unchallenged. When that happens, leaders may be able to abuse their power, for example in the way Adolf Hitler did.

Overall, transformational leadership advantages and disadvantages both need to be taken into account if your company is considering making the shift to a digital environment, but the effort is more worthwhile than you can imagine as you can see by looking at examples of transformational leadership.  

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