I have identified my characteristics and behavior to relate to a combination of transactional and transformational style of leadership. This combination of leadership style has been seen to be the most prominent style among leaders.
Compared to transactional leadership, transformational leadership produces better results and is more effective. Mahdinezhad et. al. (2013) defines transformational leadership as a style wherein the leader nurtures or guides their followers towards their goals and visions providing intellectual stimulus and setting high performance expectations. On the other hand, transactional style of leadership thrives in a stable environment without much competition or change, which is uncommon in the current competitive environment. It is an approach, which rewards high performers and punishes non-performers, which can cause performance rivalry between team members instead of team collaboration and complete destruction of team creative capabilities (Mahdinezhad et. al.
, 2013). Transformational leadership is distinguished from other leadership styles, in that it aims at creating new and innovative opportunities, thereby fueling team members to think outside the box, confronting and resolving problems in atypical ways and encouraging frequent challenges to the status quo. This style focuses on its members and appeals to them by articulating a desirable vision of the future by communicating ideologies and leading through example (Judge and Piccolo, 2004). This leadership tends to improve the team’s morale and motivates the team members, thereby acting as a mentor for their professional growth and rewarding them for taking initiatives in the organization.Transactional leadership, however, aims at accomplishing their goals through use of coercive power and authority. They work towards achieving this by rewarding employees who meet their expectations through recognition, promotions or pay raises while indirectly penalizing those who fail to perform well.
This leads to a competitive and stressful environment, which demoralizes individuals and makes an employee ineffective and unproductive, out of fear of losings one’s job or demotion (Judge and Piccolo, 2004). This can be detrimental to the growth of the department and/or project and results in employees getting complacent and developing a tendency to achieve minimal expectations that would help them avoid any penalties. The success of such style of leadership depends on the level of satisfaction the leader and followers have, and not on the organizations goals (Howell and Avolio, 1993). To conclude, a transformational leader propels his followers, to aspire for excellence without the use of any coercive power, but by inspiring them through his deep thinking and being a role model. On the other hand, power play and the use of a reward system together with a penalty system plays an integral role in transactional style of leadership.