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Transformational Leadership in Turbulent Times

by Constant Hine and Robin Levy
September/October 2020
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/transformational-leadership-in-turbulent-times/5025534/

Transformational leadership creates significant change in people and organizations. It influences perceptions and values and it impacts employee or follower motivation and expectations in a positive way. Today more than ever, the early care and education field needs transformational leaders to facilitate organizations, systems, and individuals within our workforce as we navigate unprecedented amounts of stress and change, as well as unknown future circumstances. COVID has created greater social exposure of historical problematic issues in ECE. These turbulent times demand rethinking responses at program and system levels while maintaining quality care for children. 

Often defined as an approach that causes change in individuals and social systems, ideally transformational leadership creates positive change in followers, with the end goal of developing followers into leaders themselves. As change agents, transformational leaders guide people and organizations, partner with followers, empower teams, identify needed changes, and share a truly inspiring vision. As a strategy, they model these qualities to develop them in others. James MacGregor Burns introduced the concept of transformational leadership in 1978, calling it a process in which “leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation” (Burns, 1978).

According to Bernard M. Bass (1985), the transformational ...

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