Most of us are aware of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Gandhi’s words lie at the heart of one of the most powerful leadership styles in both politics and business: transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership focuses on being inspirational. The transformational leadership style is energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate.

Transformational leaders are engaged and involved in the process. They genuinely care about the success of every team member.

The transformational leadership style favors integrity and fairness. Transformational leaders encourage the people they work with to push the envelope and exceed expectations.

Transformational Leadership Theory

Transformational leadership theory is a leadership style that involves inspiring and motivating employees to innovate and create change. This happens when the leader leads by example and becomes a shining example of corporate culture, employee ownership, and independence in the workplace.

It involves supervising the workforce without micromanaging. Transformational leadership examples indicate that it is crucial to trust employees for them to be decisive, creative, and forward-looking in their assigned jobs.

The transformational leadership style also has the benefit of putting employees on the leadership track—active mentorship and training means more competent employees are ready to take on leadership roles when the time is right.

Transformational Leadership Examples

The concept of transformational leadership encourages leaders to demonstrate excellence and initiative with the belief that employees will be inspired to follow suit. The transformational leadership style is applicable in every industry. It is particularly suited to the rapidly-evolving, fast-paced tech industry where innovation, agility, and timing can make or break a company. Leaders across the technology sector are setting transformational leadership examples.

Here are some examples of traits of transformational leadership:

  • In the transformational leadership style the leader encourages positive development of his team.

  • It exemplifies moral standards that encourage high levels of integrity.

  • Essential among transformational leadership examples is fostering an ethical work environment with clearly-defined values, priorities, and standards.

  • It builds company culture by encouraging the shift from working for self-interest to working for the common good.

  • It also emphasizes transparency, collaboration, and open communication.

  • Coaching and mentoring is an integral part of transformational leadership.

Transformational Leadership Style

Transformational leaders create a compelling vision for the company and its employees.

The transformational theory focuses on motivating people to buy into and deliver the vision. Transformational leaders also know that people need to be encouraged continuously to deliver significant change. Clear communication is at the center of transformational leadership.

More than any other aspect of the business, transformational leaders focus their attention on people. They go out of their way to work hard and help the organization or team achieve their goals and targets.

Transformational theory underlines the fact that leadership is a long-term process. Building relationships, earning trust, and helping people grow takes continuous and constant work.

Well Known Transformational Leaders

Here are some examples of well-known individuals who displayed the traits of transformational leadership.

  • Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhi’s legacy stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries and inspires other transformational leaders. He gave the Indian freedom movement a sense of direction and purpose.t.

  • Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle against racism in America has inspired many across the globe. Even today, as we grapple with contemporary debates on race, we can do well to study his words and actions. He was truly passionate about justice and his style of protesting garnered a lot of support.

  • Nelson Mandela: South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, went through untold hardships and misery in his fight against apartheid.  His charisma, enthusiasm, and capacity to endure inspired thousands of South Africans to demand an end to systemic discrimination.

  • Steve Jobs:  Steve Jobs is a legend in the world of technology and entrepreneurship. His quest for perfection and emphasis on minimalism drove the vision of a company that had been struggling for some time. Not only did he turn the company around, his ideas inspired so many of the company’s employees to strive for better.


Many resources and programs can aid the development of transformational leadership skills. Harappa Education’s Leading Self course will set you on the path to becoming the best possible version of yourself. A section on the Balcony and Dance Floor model will help you learn how to balance action with awareness. Transformational leadership theory means analyzing and interpreting our patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. Enrol for the course today to become an impactful transformational leader!

Explore topics such as What is LeadershipTypes of LeadershipTransactional LeadershipLeadership Development & Transactional and Transformational leadership from our Harappa Diaries section and lead on a path of self-development.