Situations to use Transactional Leadership in Team

Transactional leadership occurs when the leader rewards the team member, depending on the adequacy of the team member’s performance. Transactional leadership depends on contingent reinforcement, either positive contingent reward (CR) or the more negative active or passive forms of management-by-exception (MBE-A or MBE-P). [1]

Here are some situations I can think of.

* Use CR – when you found team member is motivated with some kind of reward & you can arrive a mutual agreement with your team member on reward he is getting after the work done is expected fashion.

* Use MBE-A – when you don’t want a mistake/error done by your team member propagates further that may jeopardize the project. You actively get the statuses, problems, challenges, develop processes, ensure adherence of project processes, conduct reviews, etc so that no error goes beyond certain time period. This really required when you manages a critical project & have time to do micro management. This is used when team member is having less experience in the work area. MBE-A may be required and effective in some situations, such as when safety is paramount in importance[2].

* Use MBE-P – when you don’t really care much about the errors or deviance as soon as it occurred. You have some time to correct them & they are not critical. This is followed when team member is having good experience in the area of working.
Leaders sometimes must practice passive MBE when required to supervise a large number of subordinates who report directly to the leaders[2]


1. Significant Behaviors of Transactional Leadership –
2. Transformational Leadership (Second Edition) BY Bernard M. Bass, Ronald E. Riggio, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.,2006

Know All about Managerial Grid Model – Blake & Mouton in a Mind Map

Here is my first article on Leadership Theories in a Mind Mapped form. This article explains about Managerial Grid Leadership Model. I attached the document in pdf format for download.

Managerial Grid

Picture in PDF file here Managerial Grid.

Here is the notes with the hierarchical text:

Managerial Grid

  • History
    • Developed by Blake & Mouton
    • Year:1964
    • Grid
      • x-axis
        • Concern for production
        • Scales from 1 to 9
      • y-axis
        • Concern for people
        • Scales from 1 to 9
      • Third axis
        • Was available earlier
        • Motivation
          • Driven by fear
            • Negative
          • Driven by desire
            • Positive
  • Leadership Styles
    • Impoverished or The Indifferent Style (1,1)
      • Low production/Low people
      • Behaviors
        • Evade & Elude

          I distance myself from taking active responsibility for results to avoid getting entangled in problems.

          If forced, I take a passive or supportive position.

          Lazy approach

          Similar to Laissez-faire Leadership Style

      • Result
        • Lack of leadership
        • Dissatisfaction
        • Disharmony
    • Country Club or The Accommodating Style (1,9)
      • Low production/High people
      • Behaviors
        • Yield & Comply
        • I support results that establish and reinforce harmony.
        • I generate enthusiasm by focusing on positive and pleasing aspects of work.
      • Result
        • Happy team members
        • Non-productive
    • Middle-of-the-Road or The status quo style (5,5)
      • Medium production/Medium people
      • Behaviors
        • Balance & Compromise
        • I endorse results that are popular but caution against taking unnecessary risk.
        • I test my opinions with others involved to assure ongoing acceptability.
      • Result
        • Compromise
        • Not so high not so low in both concerns
    • Produce or Perish or The Controlling Style (9,1)
      • High production/Low people
      • Behaviors
        • Direct & Dominate
        • I expect results and take control by clearly stating a course of action.
        • I enforce rules that sustain high results and do not permit deviation
        • Based on McGregor’s Theory X
      • Result
        • Task-oriented
        • Autocratic/Authoritarian Leadership Style
        • Dissatisfaction
        • Conflict
    • Team or The Sound Style (9,9)
      • High production/High people
      • Behaviors
        • Contribute & Commit
        • I initiate team action in a way that invites involvement and commitment.
        • I explore all facts and alternative views to reach a shared understanding of the best solution.
        • Based on McGregor’s Theory Y
      • Result
        • Highly cohesive team
        • High productivity
        • Satisfied & motivated team
    • The opportunistic style OPP (Any 5 positions)
      • Behaviors
        • Exploit & Manipulate
        • I persuade others to support results that offer me private benefit.
        • If they also benefit, that’s even better in gaining support.
        • I rely on whatever approach is needed to secure an advantage.
      • Result
        • High Personal Benefit
    • The paternalistic style PAT (Alternate between (1,9) & (9,1))
      • Behaviors
        • Prescribe & Guide
        • I provide leadership by defining initiatives for myself and others.
        • I offer praise and appreciation for support, and discourage challenges to my thinking.
  • Managerial Grid
    • image
  • Characteristics
    • Similarity
      • McGregor’s Theory X & Y
      • Participative Management
    • Drivers
      • Concern for Production
      • Concern for People
    • Makes behaviors tangible & objective
      • Lists more Leadership Styles between X & Y
    • Classification
      • Behavioral Leadership Model
  • Relationship Skills
    • Skills that affect leadership styles
    • 1. Critique
      • Learning from experience by anticipating and examining how behavior and actions affect
    • 2. Initiative
      • Taking action to exercise shared effort, drive, and support for specific activities
    • 3. Inquiry
      • Questioning, seeking information, and testing for understanding
    • 4. Advocacy
      • Expressing attitudes, opinions, ideas, and convictions
    • 5. Decision-Making
      • Evaluating resources, criteria, and consequences to reach a decision
    • 6. Conflict Resolution
      • Confronting and working through disagreements with others toward resolution
    • 7. Resilience
      • Reacting to problems, setbacks, and failure, and understanding how these factors influence the ability to move forward

    • Application
      • Teams can find which best suits for them
  • Disadvantages
    • Not situational
    • Neglects internal & external constraints
  • Bibliography

What are the components of Transformational Leadership?

Leadership does not end with the person who shows the characteristics. Leadership is a journey; Journey is moving from one point to another – Leadership is moving from one level to another; even if you return to the same point you will have a different level of thinking and understanding. Leadership needs followers, it requires dedication and one needs to follow its principles throughout his/her life. This might be the reason why it is a bit complex to understand Leadership as a whole.

We already briefed about Transformational Leadership in earlier post, now it is required to know the constituents of it to practice it well. Transformational Leadership has a long history and it evolved after earlier theories on behavioral, trait, charismatic & situational leadership models. So, it has overlapping with those other theories. Especially, Charisma is one of the components of Transformational Leadership.

There are four components of Transformational Leadership[1]. Some time it is referred as four I‘s of Transformational Leadership. They are:

1. Idealized Influence(II)
2. Inspirational Motivation (IM)
3. Intellectual Stimulation (IS)
4. Individualized Consideration (IC)

Idealized Influence (II):

Whoever be the writer or presenter, everyone agrees that -‘Influence’ is the first and foremost out of all leadership qualities. The stress on influence is more with the word ‘Idealized’. About Influence –

Maxwell says – “The true measure of leadership is Influence nothing more, nothing less.”

You will understand more about Influence when you read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. John P. Kotter dealt in detail on this topic in his book “Power and Influence”.

No matter whoever it is, as a Transformational Leader, you have the capability to become the role model for them. You are respected & admired by your followers. They have a separate place for you in their heart. You have absolute trust on your followers and they also have it for you. Your followers understand that you have great potential and determination which will take them to higher levels. You are having the willingness to take risks and be consistent. In any situation, you show high standards of conduct.

Inspirational Motivation (IM):

One or the other way, Inspiration and Motivation are always part of leadership. We know about Inspiration and motivation separately and they are used interchangeably. Let us see their connection in the below highlighted text before we get into Inspirational Motivation.

Motivation really comes down to inspiration. Since motivation comes from within, it is a form of self-inspiration. This process is nurtured by watching others achieve their goals. Most often it is developed by following the example of leaders who do the right thing for people, communicate frequently, empower vigorously, coach regularly, and sacrifice for others.[2]

As a Transformational Leader, you have a vision. You communicate expectations with followers and show optimism in reaching the goal. By your vision, activities and behavior, your followers get motivated and inspired. They all feel team spirit and work enthusiastic as a group. They start demonstrating their commitments towards the goal. Motivation can occur only if two-way communications happen.

Intellectual Stimulation (IS):

“People respond to a challenge because it taps their inner desire to succeed.”[2]

This component deals with stimulating followers’ analytical skills and problem solving ability. Everyone has the skill to analyze problems in their hand. Each one has a different approach to an issue. As a Transformational Leader, you need to allow followers’ to come up with their solution (it may be different from yours) for the same problem. If the issue is not understandable you can help them to re-frame it. Encourage them to approach old issues with new methods to come up with meaningful output.  Encourage their creativity and innovation. Don’t criticize or don’t pass sarcastic comments in public.

Individualized Consideration (IC):

Each individual is different. Followers’ have different needs & show different levels of potential. As a Transformational Leader, you need to accept this. You need to develop higher levels of potential. It cannot be achieved by showing the same level of attention. You should take special care of each individual follower’s need for achievement and growth. Provide supportive environment. Have clear two-way communication in understanding their concerns. Develop your follower by delegating tasks. Monitor and provide improvement tips on delegated activities and make them produce finer output. This increases followers’ confidence and morale.

Closing Notes:

I thought it is worth mentioning a quote and a Q & A from Steven Covey. Following is the quote by Steven Covey on Transformational Leadership:

“The goal of transformational leadership is to “transform” people and organizations in a literal sense – to change them in mind and heart; enlarge vision, insight, and understanding; clarify purposes; make behavior congruent with beliefs, principles, or values; and bring about changes that are permanent, self-perpetuating, and momentum building.”

Following is a Q & A from “The Mission Statement That Changed The World”, posted on March 3rd, 2008 in Steven Covey’s Blog (Link). You can match each of the transformational components with Gandhi’s mission statement listed below.

Q: Who is one of your personal heroes?

A: Mahatma Gandhi. Let me read you his personal mission statement:

“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
* I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
* I shall fear only God.
* I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
* I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
* I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”

– Mahatma Gandhi


1. Transformational Leadership (Second Edition) BY Bernard M. Bass, Ronald E. Riggio, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.,2006
2. Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders BY John Baldoni, McGraw-Hill,2005

My Other posts on Transactional & Transformational Leadership:

1. Transactional Leadership Vs. Transformational Leadership

2. Is anything called transactional leadership exists?

Transactional Leadership Vs. Transformational Leadership

Number of Leadership theories evolved on the basis of Trait, Behavioral, Transformational, Situational, Charisma. Researchers and thinkers made efforts linking some of the theories across these leadership islands. But each model has its own pros, cons, assumptions & limitations. Latest researches are conducted on Situational & Transformational leadership styles. Leadership gurus presented new models as variations to the already existing models. Max Weber, MacGregor Burns, Bernard M.Bass, Warren Bennis & Nanus are few important researchers in the area of transformational leadership.

Understanding the difference between transactional and transformational leadership is vital in getting the whole concept of transformational leadership theory.Transformational Vs Transactional

As a starting point, let us review our everyday life. In general, a relationship between two people is based on the level of exchange they have. Exchange need not be money or material; it can be anything. The more exchange they have the more stronger the relation. Your manager expects more productivity from you in order to give good rewards. In this way, if something is done to anyone based on the return then that relation is called as ‘Transactional’ type. In politics, leaders announces benefits in their agenda in exchange to the vote from the citizens.  In business, leaders announces rewards in turn to the productivity. These relation is all about requirements, conditions and rewards (or punishment). Leaders who show these kind of relationship are called ‘Transactional Leaders’.

In life, at one point of time, things happen without expectation from other side. Say, mom’s dedicated service to her kid. Mom doesn’t expect anything from the child and the service she provides in raising the child is  unconditional, dedicated, committed. Mom plays a major role in shaping up the kid’s future life. This type of relation is called as ‘Transformational’. Leaders do exist in this world with these behaviors. Transformational Leaders work toward a common goal with followers; put followers in front and develop them; take followers’ to next level; inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests in achieving superior results.

Transactional Leader:

approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another … Burns

pursues a cost benefit, economic exchange to met subordinates current material and psychic needs in return for “contracted” services rendered by the subordinate …. Bass

Transformational Leader:

“recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower… (and) looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower” … Burns

The leader who recognizes the transactional needs in potential followers “but tends to go further, seeking to arouse and satisfy higher needs, to engage the full person of the follower … to a higher level of need according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” … Bass

 “Transformational Leader facilitates a redefinition of a people’s mission and vision, a renewal of their commitment and the restructuring of their systems for goal accomplishment. It is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents. Hence, transformational leadership must be grounded in moral foundations”….(Leithwood, as cited in Cashin et al., 2000, p.1)

As exactly said by Bass – “the transactional leaders work within the organizational culture as it exists; the transformational leader changes the organizational culture”.

Following table shows difference of transactional and transformation leadership[1].

Transactional Leadership Transformational Leadership
* Leaders are aware of the link between the effort and reward

* Leadership is responsive and its basic orientation is dealing with present issues

* Leaders rely on standard forms of inducement, reward, punishment and sanction to control followers

* Leaders motivate followers by setting goals and promising rewards for desired performance

* Leadership depends on the leader’s power to reinforce subordinates for their successful completion of the bargain.

* Leaders arouse emotions in their followers which motivates them to act beyond the framework of what may be described as exchange relations

* Leadership is proactive and forms new expectations in followers

* Leaders are distinguished by their capacity to inspire and provide individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and idealized influence to their followers

* Leaders create learning opportunities for their followers and stimulate followers to solve problems

* Leaders possess good visioning, rhetorical and management skills, to develop strong emotional bonds with followers

* Leaders motivate followers to work for goals that go beyond self-interest.

Initial studies portrayed Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership as mutually exclusive, but Bass viewed the transactional & transformational leadership as continuum rather than opposites. The transformational leadership style is complementary to the transactional style and likely to be ineffective in the total absence of a transactional relationship between leaders and subordinates.

Based on detailed studies of various works in Transformational Leadership reveals following broader characteristics of Transformational Leader which includes (not limited to) [3], [4]

  •     Clear sense of purpose, expressed simply
  •     Value driven (e.g. have core values and congruent behavior)
  •     Strong role model
  •     High expectations
  •     Persistent
  •     Self-knowing
  •     Perpetual desire for learning
  •     Love work
  •     Life-long learners
  •     Identify themselves as change agents
  •     Enthusiastic
  •     Able to attract and inspire others
  •     Strategic
  •     Effective communicator
  •     Emotionally mature
  •     Courageous
  •     Risk-taking
  •     Risk-sharing
  •     Visionary
  •     Unwilling to believe in failure
  •     Sense of public need
  •     Considerate of the personal needs of employee
  •     Listens to all viewpoints to develop spirit of cooperation
  •     Mentoring
  •     Able to deal with complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity


1. Comparison studies of different transformational authors – Bass, Cacioppe, Gronn,, Popper & Zakkai by Vanisha Balgobind in “The impact of Transformational Leadership on Subordinate Job satisfaction” dissertation work – June 2002.

2. Transformational Leadership by Colonel Mark A. Homrig, 21 Dec 2001. Retrieved from as on Aug 1st 2008.

3.Transformational Leadership: Characteristics and Criticisms by Iain Hay. Retrieved from as on 1st Apr 2012.

4. Bass (1990a); Cox (2001); Epitropaki; Hall, Johnson, Wysocki & Kepner (2002); Lussier & Achua (2004); Stone, Russell & Patterson (2003); Tichy & Devanna (1986); and University of Regina.

My Other posts on Transactional & Transformational Leadership:

1. Is anything called transactional leadership exists?

2. What are the components of Transformational Leadership?

What, why and How of delegating

What is Delegating?

Delegating is like a magic wand in the hands of smart managers. Delegating is highly effective when used properly but it is a complex one to practice. Whatever be the leadership model, ‘Delegating’ is an undisputed leadership style discussed across all those models.

“Effective delegation takes emotional courage as we allow, to one degree or another, others to make mistakes on our time, money and good name.

Effective delegation must be two-way: responsibility given, responsibility received.”

-Stephen Covey in First things First

Let us review simple definition of Delegating: Delegating is assigning a task that you currently have in your activity list(for which you are ultimately responsible) and assigning it to other person with confidence that he will complete with minimal or no involvement from you.

As far as managers are concerned, Delegating allows them to make the best use of their time and skills, and it helps team member’s growth and develops to reach their full potential in the organization.

Why Delegating is not performed often?

Here are the few reasons managers tell for not delegating a task. Reviewing these would be a good learning on common mistakes which we do.

“I don’t have enough time to delegate properly.”

“I don’t have the skills to delegate well.”

“It’s easier to do it myself than to ask someone else.”

“The people to whom I could delegate are already too busy; don’t have the knowledge, skills, or experience required; or aren’t ready to accept this level of responsibility.”

“I’ve been let down in the past, and if they don’t get the job done, I’ll end up looking bad.”

“Risk taking is not encouraged in this organization, and delegation is risky.”

Why Delegating is required?

There are countless benefits to delegating. Now, let us review few of them:

* Delegation is an effective tool in grooming future managers/leaders

* Delegation is cost effective for the organization

* Delegation helps in time management – when work is in high volume and complex

* Delegation of decision making, participative management, and leading through other leaders are vital to increasing the total power of the manager/leader and the organization

* If delegating is done well, a project manager can quickly build a strong and successful team of people, well able to meet the demands that others place.

* Delegation demonstrates manager’s professionalism and effectiveness

* Delegation creates a win-win situation – The Manager and the organization – gets the work done faster,

The member – gets sense of accomplishment, trust, opportunity to grow and recognition

What are the parameters to do delegating?

Delegating is situation based. So, mainly, its parameters are:

a) Complexity of task in hand,

b) Risk involved if not task completed as expected and

c) Commitment & competence of team member

How to do delegating?

When delegating few things to be kept in mind.

* Delegate the whole job whenever possible – this makes member to feel responsibility which increases motivation

* Avoid upward delegation – that is, avoid having your team member turn to you to solve every problem that they encounter while performing the tasks that you delegated to them.

* Always have progress check points – Delegating is not just giving the work to someone and leaves it. This helps to find out whether the work progress in the right direction & gives more confidence on the timely delivery.

* Don’t delegate if you don’t know about the task – if you don’t know what to do to complete the task then we cannot get it done from others.

* Don’t delegate task that requires confidentiality or sensitive issues – there are few tasks like performance appraisal, interpersonal conflicts, sensitive matters (particularly lay-off) should not be delegated. They are exclusive duties of managers.

Delegating Steps

Understand & assess the task

Basic step of delegation is understanding & assessing the task you want to delegate. Assessment should be based on delegation parameters – complexity, level of skill, level of commitment, need for involvement. Without proper understanding one cannot delete a task to others.

Clarify objectives

After identifying the resource to do the work, next step is clarifying the objectives to him. Mainly, explain Why -> The purpose, What -> the goal and How -> the boundaries of the task, so the person has a clear picture of what we are wanting to accomplish. Also, talk on the reward, recognition & learning new skills.

Understand Concerns, feelings & suggestions

Also, understand & deal the comfortableness, concerns, feelings & suggestions of the member. Member should feel responsibility & not that he gets only extra work to perform. Based on outcome of this step, you may need to select different resource if there is any conflict of interest.

Decide & Agree on Goal

Next step is agreeing on time line, quality standards, level of your intervention, authority and accountability. This step is vital as this would be the baseline for further verification of work. Delegate the task and not the method to accomplish it. Let your team member will decide that. This makes the member to take personal initiative which gives him sense of contribution. It is important to express confidence on member’s work, your availability for support, and your appreciation during progress.

Get involved

Another important step is staying involved at the level agreed. Maintain open lines of communication. Checking too often or not getting involved will create negative impact. Revisit the frequency of communication based on the situation and negotiate.


Review the work done (not the method) in the agreed time interval and give positive and corrective feedbacks. If you’re not satisfied with the progress, don’t immediately take the project back. Continue to work with the member and ensure they perceive the project as their responsibility. After the final result delivery, take necessary initiative to fulfill the agreed reward.