Team management and leadership are critical aspects of project management. While leading a group may not seem like much hassle to most people. After all, you have to order people around and get work done, right? Not precisely. Leadership is the most crucial management function with the sole focus of achieving the organization’s goals. When a role is so important, it naturally has many approaches too. Hence, there are many leadership techniques and styles which are convenient according to the situation and project. But most often, we come across two popular leadership styles. They are “Transactional leadership” and “Transformational leadership” styles. Before we divulge into which type is better, we must learn what they are first.
Transactional leadership is a leadership type that values structure and organization. A transactional leader is more suited towards leading extensive operations. The reason is that extensive operations require careful management. So if they have to get any work done in time, they must follow the rules, requirements, and regulations for a properly organized and smooth flowing operation.
Transactional leadership is more goal-oriented, and these leaders are solely focused on getting results. So a transactional leader has the responsibility to manage and maintain group performance as well as facilitate individuals.
A transactional leader sets criteria of success and loss according to the previously defined organizational outlines of performance. They judge based on penalties and rewards after a performance review. That is why transactional leadership works best in scenarios where the employees are motivated by the benefit, rewards, and penalty structure.
On the other hand, in transformational leadership, the leaders are more concerned with extracting their employees’ creative abilities. They aim towards inspiring and motivating their employees so that they can create and innovate. Transformational leaders generally believe that only through innovation, change, and creativity can a corporation grow.
For instance, social work requires leadership at every step, as working with people is not easy. Thus, those who wish to perfect their transformational leadership style can pursue MSW online no GRE to incorporate the desired trait. The MSW program students get training on developing empathetic and innovative skills to work with communities. It trains them to become better transformational leaders to pull communities out of devastating situations.
A transformational leader establishes a strong corporate culture that motivates the employees. They aim towards giving as much creative and innovative independence as possible and allow the employees to work in their capacity. So naturally, there is no room for micromanagement.
Benefits of Transactional Leadership
- Effectively motivate team members to increase productivity
People come under contract with companies because they find value and reward in the position. So there can be many reward-centered motivators. People with such motivations work best under transactional leadership.
- Creates achievable goals
You cannot have a goal, much less achieve it, if there is no definite end line. As compared to transformational leadership, transactional leaders assign individuals several goals and tasks. It means that all the responsibilities are divided among the team members, and they have definite results to achieve.
- Eliminates confusion
Naturally, transactional leadership relies upon a hierarchical chain of command. The whole team recognizes this, and there is no confusion in the decision-making process. All the team levels react to the leader in an organized manner, and they understand their work requirements. In case any problem arises, the team members face no problem and know who they should turn towards in crisis.
- It is simple to implement
The reason why transactional leadership is so popular is that it is simple and straightforward. It doesn’t require any innovative spirits or creativity. It just requires a person to have authoritative qualities so that they can guide and manage the team. The team leader acts as an enforcer of rules, and they expect everyone to follow suit.
Benefits of Transformational Leadership
- Drives change
Transformational leaders recognize that following traditional methods is not an option if they want their company to stay ahead of the game. So they welcome change and encourage their team members to bring exciting and new ideas forward to help the business grow.
- Creates passion
To create or do something transformational, each team member must be passionate about it. A transformational leader recognizes this goal and excites the team to work hard towards achieving this goal. This manner of leadership increases team spirit and productivity.
- Encourage learning
A transformational leader understands that there are no bounds to knowledge, and they are always excited to learn something new. They translate this spirit into their team and encourage them to learn new things and skills that can help them on their job. It works towards building a thriving corporate culture that motivates the employees to perform their best.
- Solve problems
Transactional leaders don’t underestimate their team’s intelligence and understand that each person holds decision-making capabilities. So they welcome new ideas and insights into creatively solving problems. They don’t make decisions and command the team to execute. Instead, they work in a group setting to solve whatever problem they face.
Transactional or Transformational, which is better?
The type of leadership suitable for a project depends upon the scale and aim of the project. Some projects need micromanagement, while most are open to creativity and innovation. Generally, transactional leadership is best suited for short and result-oriented projects. On the other hand, transformational leadership is best in cases of long-term projects. Giving the team members room to grow, innovate, and be creative can lead to success. That is why transformational leadership is better than transactional leadership. The best course of action is to encourage the team members to be creative while managing them in more result-oriented ways. The passion for work and appreciation for talent under transformational leadership acts as a better tool for its success.