At its core, leadership is transactional in nature (Northouse, 2013), but, that doesn’t mean the best possible approach to leadership is transactional leadership. Most leadership models rely on, in some way, the transactional exchange between leader and follower (Northouse, 2013), and though that is true at a very core level, it does not make it true at the relational level where most people live. The better approach to leadership is a transformational approach over a transactional one. Transformational leadership is the process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower (Northouse, 2013). A transformational model of leadership is much more relational than a transactional one. A transactional model focuses on what the leader can get from the followers, and seeks to motivate with approval and efficient productivity; transformational leaders are relational leaders who use personal engagement as an opportunity to gain trust and followership (Northouse, 2013). In essence, transformational leadership produces greater effects than transactional leadership (Northouse, 2013)
In order to prep a leader to be more transformational rather than transactional, it is going to require a great deal of intentionality and time to modify philosophies that dictate behaviors. One of the first steps that would seem vital is build a transformational leader is to compel them to engage in a more relational approach to leadership by treating each follower as an individual (Bass, 1985). If a transactional leader will begin to provide coaching, mentoring, and opportunity to grow to followers, then they will adapt to the new transformational style before a successor comes in.
Bass, B. M. (1985). LEADERSHIP AND PERFORMANCE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS. New York : London: Free Press.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Rumley, D. (2011). TRANSFORMATIONAL MINISTRY: LEADERSHIP, CHURCH GROWTH, AND THE SENIOR PASTOR’S EFFECTIVENESS. Dr. David D. Rumley.