Transformational leadership vs transactional leadership

Transformational leadership vs transactional leadership

What’s the difference between transformational leadership and transactional leadership?

I recently had a wonderful conversation with Richard Lindner from The conversation was all about email marketing but something unexpected (and wonderful) came up during the discussion as is often the case on the Productive Insights podcast.

That conversation was about transformational leadership vs transactional leadership.

One approach builds great teams and has the potential to create unexpected outcomes of a different order of magnitude.

The other … not so much

Transactional leadership is when you lay out the process step by step and tell your team exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

Transformational leadership is where you tell them what the goal is and how it’s measured, and then you leave the team to do the rest themselves.

Transactional leadership will make you a good manager and will enable you to manage people and processes.

Transformational leadership will enable you to be a better leader of people and potentially achieve outcomes beyond your (or anyone else’s) wildest dreams.

Steve Jobs often said that Apple was the world’s largest startup. Despite all his flaws (and the biography written by Walter Issacson outlined several) Steve Jobs was a truly transformational leader at heart.

What kind of a leader are you?