The Beneficial Effects of Transformational Leadership


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA



A question to ask yourself is, “Have you ever been in an organization or group where someone acted quickly and decisively to take control of a difficult situation by providing a clear vision of the goal or objective, demonstrated a visible passion for the work to be done, and an ability to recharge and energize the group? This person would be the manifestation of what is known as a transformational leader.

According to Wikipedia, transformational leadership is a theory of leadership where a leader works with teams to identify needed change, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executing the change in tandem with committed members of a group; it is an integral part of the Full Range Leadership Model.

Transformational leadership exists and can be clearly seen when a leader’s behaviors influence followers and inspire people and teams to perform well beyond their perceived capabilities and create inspiration to achieve extraordinary results. This type of leadership gives workers, team members, and other organizational leaders, autonomy over their specific jobs and the authority to make decisions that impact organizational performance and efficiency. Transformational leadership creates positive change in an organization and develops or enhances the attitudes of followers and the organization as a whole to work together for shared aspirations.

Transformational leaders typically are associated with, and demonstrate, four distinct behaviors. These behaviors, known as the four I’s include:

  • Inspirational motivation
  • Idealized influence
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Individualized consideration

Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, sincere, trusting, and highly committed to an organization. They are concerned and involved in process development, completing objectives, and generating value, but they are also focused on helping each member of the group or organization to succeed. It is clearly a form of servant leadership. (A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible).

The concept of transformational leadership was initially introduced by a presidential biographer and expert in leadership behaviors and styles, James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational leadership is visible when leaders and followers work together to mutually advance to higher levels of performance through motivation, shared values, and concern for each other…


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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2021). The Beneficial Effects of Transformational Leadership, Series on Positive Leadership in Project Management. PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/pmwj101-Jan2021-Saladis-transformational-leadership-positive-leadership-series-article.pdf



About the Author

Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA


Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/