Leadership is a concept that continues to receive attention and largely debated worldwide. Debates often revolve around two major types of leadership; charismatic and transformational leadership with the focus on which between the two is effective. This paper explores similarities and differences between charismatic and transformational leadership.
Charismatic leadership is a leadership approach that indicates the ability of an individual to influence people and consequently be a great symbol of power for them. On the other hand, transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that causes a change in individuals and social systems through a common goal and collective vision (Mittal 27). Concerning similarities, both approaches are agents of change. In addition to the formulation of a collective vision, it should be noted that there exist strong emotional ties between the leader and the followers. Notably, the leader must be trustworthy and display good conduct. As such, transformation occurs more easily amongst the leader’s followers as their belief systems and attitudes are significantly influenced (Mittal 28). Also, both charismatic and transformational leadership approaches foster performance beyond expectations.
Regarding differences, charismatic leaders usually engage in behaviors that often establish extraordinary competence to increase their follower dependence. Conversely, transformational leaders often act to empower their followers making them less dependent on their leaders (Mittal 29). Moreover, charismatic leadership is integrated with a one-way influence process where the visions of the followers are aligned with that of the leader whereas transformational leadership is integrated with a reciprocal influence process where the leader-follower relationship has implications on both the leader and the follower.
Knowing the distinctions between charismatic and transformational leadership is important as it enables a leader to clearly understand these two leadership approaches. As such, it would enable the leader to build a strong and effective leader-follower relationship that has a collective vision. Also, the distinctions enable a leader to comprehend and display ethical conducts in leadership.
Mittal, Rakesh. “Charismatic and transformational leadership styles: A cross-cultural perspective.” International Journal of Business and Management 10.3 (2015): 26., https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rakesh_Mittal3/publication/276390386_Charismatic_and_Transformational_Leadership_Styles_A_Cross-Cultural_Perspective/links/56d5a3c308aeac0593335b45/Charismatic-and-Transformational-Leadership-Styles-A-Cross-Cultural-Perspective.pdf