Are you looking to be a transformational leader? Companies invest a lot of time and money in recruiting and developing their leaders.
You only have to look on LinkedIn to see how many companies are focused on training people to become better leaders.
The emphasis is often on developing ‘transformational’ leaders. These leaders inspire their team members to go above and beyond. These leaders prioritise the group rather than the individual needs. They show more motivation at work and maintain a stimulating work environment.
However, according to EBW Global in 2020, ‘transformational’ leaders are not effective all the time. In some cases, transformational leadership simply does not have the expected impact.
What is one of the disadvantages of transformational leadership?
Put simply, it’s not effective for everybody.
The EBW report by Phillip Gilmore from George Mason University (Virginia), showed that ‘transformational’ leadership did not significantly improve creativity. Nor did it ‘help behaviours’ in already positive employees. Gilmore concluded that these employees do not appear to need what transformational leaders offer.
Gilmore suggests that ‘transformational’ leaders are much more effective with employees who are low on energy and melancholic. This is because these employees feel that the leadership style really makes a difference. If the type of leadership practice suits them, they are more likely to be achieving goals and won’t lose faith in their leader as a role model.
EBW believe that historically, leadership experts have pushed the transformational leadership style for good reason. Transformational leaders such as Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr., played crucial roles in transforming peoples’ identity and aspirations.
However, what this research suggests is that in a business context, leaders need to tailor their styles rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach.