This article will help you to make comparison between transactional and transformational leaders.

Comparison # Transactional Leaders:

Transactional leaders “guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying role and task requirements”. They determine the goals for subordinates and guide them towards their achievement. The focus is on task and role of subordinates to achieve those tasks. They are committed to organisational goals and offer rewards to those who perform well.

Characteristics of transactional leaders:

Transactional leaders have the following characteristics:


(a) They motivate the followers to achieve organisational goals.

(b) They reward the followers for good performance. Rewards are, thus, exchanged for efforts.

(c) They frame standards of performance, evaluate performance, search for deviations and take corrective actions to minimise the deviations.

Comparison # Transformational Leaders:

Transformational leaders “provide individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and possess charisma”. Charisma is “a form of interpersonal attraction that inspires support and acceptance”. A leader with charisma is more successful than a non-charismatic leader.


They instill a sense of mission in followers and teach them to subordinate individual interests in the interests of organisations. They focus on organisational goals and developmental needs of followers. They develop a vision to see old problems in new ways and arise the desire to achieve group goals.

Transformational leadership is similar to captaincy of a team, where the goal is to bring out the best from every team member. It must be effective, efficient and excellent to avoid waste of human potential. It is not enough to be transformational in one’s individual actions alone.

To be effective, efficient and excellent, four components of transformational leadership should be understood and developed; purpose, knowledge, authority and trust:

(a) Purpose:


The transformational leader reasons and acts with organisational purposes firmly in mind. This provides focus and consistency.

(b) Knowledge:

He has the knowledge to judge and act prudently. This knowledge is found throughout the organisation and its environment but must be shared by those who hold it.

(c) Authority:


He not only has the power to make decisions but also recognises that all those involved and affected must have authority to contribute towards shared purposes.

(d) Trust:

He inspires — and is the beneficiary of — trust throughout the organisation and its environment. Without trust and knowledge, people are afraid to exercise authority. Transformational leaders “go beyond ordinary expectations by transmitting a sense of mission, stimulating learning experiences and inspiring new ways of thinking.”

A transformational leader has the following seven qualities:


a. Trusting one’s subordinates

b. Developing a vision,

c. Keeping cool,

d. Encouraging risk,


e. Being an expert,

f. Inviting dissent, and

g. Simplifying things.

Characteristics of transformational leaders:


Transformational leaders have the following characteristics:

(a) They develop confidence in followers to achieve the group goals.

(b) They develop a sense of mission in followers, a desire to do something new.

(c) They promote intelligence and rationality and help employees in careful problem-solving.

(d) They give personal attention and advise each employee individually.