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"Uncovering the Top Leadership Traits of Senior Management"


It's crucial for senior management to evaluate and refine leadership strategy to effectively steer organisations toward success. It is not always easy, through lack of clarity, changes in the landscape, changes in stakeholder requirements, even in the management structure itself.

Transactional and transformational management styles, offer distinctive approaches to governance. Understanding where the management structure is in the evolution of it’s lifecycle will determine which type is best suited. Striking a balance between these approaches can be the key to fostering positive change while ensuring operational efficiency. It may even be that it is a combination of both styles, merely because change management is necessary due to internal or external influences.


Transformational Leadership

This management style is typically the precursor to Transactional leadership. Why?

This management style does not have all the required elements to achieve the intent and can be considered as evolution of the management system.

This type of management style may not have clear boundaries, scope or a definitive route to achieve the goal. It requires skill and perception and the ability to see the bigger picture. Risk management plays a big part in this process, establishing both the level and appetite of risk which is considered acceptable to achieve the end goal.

Transformational leadership can drive progress and beneficial change. Essential to the success is the closed loop feedback, so that any change introduced can be monitored for effectiveness and efficiency.

Transformational leaders inspire change by fostering a shared vision and empowering teams to reach new heights. This approach is essential for navigating the evolving landscape of the expectations of clients and stakeholders alike. Transformational leaders encourage empowerment, ownership, creativity, adaptability, and a forward-thinking mindset. The empowerment is essential, as this is where the collective knowledge produces options and solutions that the Transformational leader can evaluate and make accurate decisions to achieve the strategy/ vision. They motivate employees by identifying the vision, goals and mission of the organisation, connecting their work to a larger purpose, instilling a sense of pride and commitment. This might involve spearheading initiatives to identify and address emerging needs, implementing sustainable practices, or embracing technology.

Once the vision is achieved, the methodology can be transitioned into a transactional style management structure where processes are fully defined and detailed to attain reliable, consistent and efficient outcomes.

Transactional Leadership

Building on the stability and reliability of a defined closed loop process, so transactional leadership plays a pivotal role in day-to-day operations. With clear expectations and structured processes, transactional leaders focus on well-defined tasks and performance metrics. As you will appreciate, risk is minimised through detail and definition of process and procedures.

This style ensures reliability and consistency, so that essential functions run smoothly and efficiently, meeting the immediate needs of the stakeholders. Transactional leaders establish clear roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. In any management structure where the intent is converted into realisation of the policy/ strategy. This is the “live” layer of delivery and continuous improvement in an organisation, where vision, strategy and plans meet structured activity and outcomes.

By converting the intent through establishing and implementing operational plans, working norms and protocols, transactional leaders provide a stable foundation for their teams, promoting delivery, reliability, and accountability. It allows a robust framework from which consistent and reliable output is achieved.


Striking the Balance

The hard bit for senior leaders, is the challenge in knowing where to integrate both transformational and transactional elements into their leadership capability. Successful governance requires a delicate balance between continuous improvement and transformational change. Establishing robust systems and procedures ensures the smooth day-to-day functioning. However, it's equally vital to cultivate a culture that embraces change and continual improvement. A successful leader navigates the dual roles of guardian of stability and champion of progress, effectively responding to the needs of the community while preparing for the challenges of the future.


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