Date of Completion

Spring 5-22-2017

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter J. Taylor


“Transformational Leadership for Growth in Changing Times” is a personal exploration into a leadership style that is both humanizing and effective. As a parent, artist, teacher, and counselor I have developed a personal form of leading without understanding what I was doing. After researching leadership styles I discovered that what I had been doing was backed by a recognized theory of leadership called Transformational Leadership.

The keys to Transformational Leadership include: Idealized Influence. Leaders behave as role models demonstrating high ethical standards and moral conduct. They are consistent and provide a feeling of confidence that obstacles can be overcome. The second aspect is Inspirational Motivation. The leader creates a vision of the future that followers find compelling. Intellectual Stimulation is about creating an environment which fosters creativity and original thinking in followers. The last characteristic is Individual Consideration. “Transformational leaders pay special attention to each individual follower’s needs for achievement and growth by acting as a coach or mentor,” writes Bass (Bass & Riggio, 2006, p. 7). Transformational Leadership (TL) is a relationship style of leading that is natural to families and small scale societies. TL is best used in situations where the situation is fluid, stress is high, and creativity is needed. TL exists in a range and as such, anyone can become more transformational if they wish.

After much thought, reflection, and research I have developed my own keys to leading: "1. Be the example of what you want others to be. 2. Gain a compassionate understanding of those around you. 3. Have a vision that extends beyond the managerial tasks. 4. Be a parent, mentor, coach, teacher, and friend. 5. Lead from the emerging future (Otto Scharmer). 6. Have fun, be playful. We are all going to die soon anyway. 7. Love.

Love is not found in any of the literature on leadership but it is the bases of TL. If one starts from a position of love and is guided by the ideal of nurturing all involved to a better place than one is bound to do some good.