15 Characteristics of the Transformational Leadership Style

Being a leader sometimes means taking bold and decisive action to get things done. By taking on the role of transformational leadership, it is up to you to take something that doesn’t work and make it better than ever before. Let’s look at 15 characteristics you should look to embody to be a transformational leader.

1. Visionary
When an organization needs change to occur, it is the visionary who will give people the vision to follow and something to strive towards. Being a visionary in your leadership means that you can see what others can’t yet and it is up to you to help get everyone on the same page to get to the future.

The process of being a transformational leader is a long and intensive process that requires a true visionary to see it through. Having a vision for what can be for a company will allow others to have hope in your vision and provide the drive to get moving.

2. Understanding
When you are providing the push and energy to get people moving forward, it can be hard to help everyone see what you want to create. This is why it is so important to be understanding of others so that you are not asking too much of someone just because they can’t see inside your mind.

Being forgiving and helping people understand why you do what you do will allow them to see why you are leading the way that you do. Giving space for new ideas to influence you and your leadership will also allow you to understand the needs and wants of the whole team for a better end result.

3. Bold
It takes a bold leader to look at an organization and see how it can be transformed into something entirely new. Sometimes the leader of a revolution I simply the first one to speak up and realize that a change and be made to better the overall organization and make it so much better than before.

Being bold enough to speak up and take action will inspire others to see why there is a needed change and get people behind you. As a leader, you need to be bold and adventurous so the team that follows you can really believe in what it is you want to accomplish.

4. Adaptable
Once you set off on your mission to transform a business, you would be a fool to think that everything will be easy and come on a silver platter. If you aren’t adaptable and able to take on unforeseeable challenges, your vision will die, and you won’t be able to be the leader you know you can be.

An adaptable leader can see the bigger picture of what needs to be done and had the skills necessary to overcome struggles. You can even help your team to become more adaptable by giving them challenging tasks to try and complete so your whole team can be ready for obstacles.

5. Organized
Being organized seems like something kind of irrelevant, but when you have a large-scale plan that needs to unfold, you will want your ducks in a row so that you can execute as necessary. Being an organized leader will allow you to have a plan that just needs to be put into place to succeed.

If your workers start to notice your success through organization then they too will want to do the same and get organized. Being organized helps clear up your mental clouds as much as it helps you understand what needs to be done.

6. Fair
When you have a bold vision that you want to see through, not everyone will immediately be on board and ready to jump and take action. A fair leader understands that everyone is human and that the vision you have may be slightly altered and changed in the minds of others.

Making sure that you keep others in mind when assigning heavy burdens means that everyone will feel equal and fairly treated.

7. Curious
Leaders should always be looking to expand their knowledge and understanding so that they can implement any number of things into their leadership. The foundation of growing is curiosity which is what inspires all great leaders to learn more and become better.

A team led by a curious leader will generally want to know and do more as a result of the positive outcomes that stem from curiosity. You may fail, but at least you learned.

8. Realistic
Even if you had an army behind you, you need to be realistic about what you actually can and can’t get done. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a team and company will not change overnight into what your vision wants it to become.

Understanding the process of growth and the differences among everyone will better allow you to have realistic goals and expectations for yourself and others.

9. Motivating
Transformational leadership is a style that requires a lot of energy from the primary leader as the one who motivated and lifts others up to their level. It is your responsibility to motivate and encourage the behavior you want to see so that it becomes the norm in your new vision of the company.

Even on days you don’t feel like showing up, you need to help others push forward by being your best self to motivate them. If you begin to slip, then you cannot expect any better from your workers.

10. Detailed
If one bolt is missing on a ship of thousands of bolts, the ship sinks. You need to be detail-oriented as a leader, so nothing slips through the cracks and sinks your ships. Make sure that you have a plan for the next day and year so that you are prepared in the event of uncertainty.

Those who follow you will share in this pursuit of detail and will do whatever they can to keep everything in check as they see it help you keep things running smoothly.

11. Prepared
When something comes up that you weren’t expecting, your true role as a leader will come to life. Being prepared for what may never even happen is what will keep your workers feeling comfortable in your ability as a leader.

Whether it is having reserve capital or making sure you have extra pens, being prepared will save you. Being prepared will prevent issues that other leaders would never be ready to tackle.

12. Outgoing
You don’t need to be a public speaker to be outgoing, but you do have to have some level of interest. Being outgoing can just be talking to people and being engaged with what others have to say. The more outgoing you are, the more likely people are going to listen to what you have to say.

Be careful however to not get too outgoing or people will just start to see you as annoying and will just want you to go away. A transformational leader needs a sense of charisma that gets others interested in what you have to say.

13. Inspirational
Fitting with the theme of leading and inspiring others, you need to have some level of inspiration to get people behind you. Whether it’s a well-drawn out plan that makes logical sense or a passionate speech about what could be, your ability to inspire others will be reflected in their desire to act.

Sometimes all it takes to be inspirational is to lead others by example and be the best version of yourself that you can be. People will notice your actions and try to emulate them to be like you.

14. Considerate
Just because you are a leader does not mean that everyone will automatically rally behind you and do whatever you say. You must be considerate of the needs and wants of others so your transformational leadership ca work in full effect and get things done effectively.

Being considerate of others will lead to mutual respect that will last long past the transformation fo your business. People are much more likely to follow someone they believe has their best interests and wellbeing in mind.

15. Driven
Your drive to make real change and get things done will be reflected by the willingness of others to change. A leader who is driven to succeed and make real changes will be just what people need in a time when things are tough and will be praised when things become better.

A leader will get up in the morning excited to get to work and will go to bed waiting for the next day to come for more work. A driven leader will drive others.


Being bold enough to make the necessary changes to a business is what will make you a great leader. Using these 15 characteristics to try and become a transformational leader will lead to your growth as a leader and the growth of your company in general.

Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.