The Two Inseparable Sides of a Transformational Leader

If there is a subject I have been passionate about in recent years, it must be transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is a reintroduced concept that is beginning to gain recognition among leading experts because of its role in effecting a cultural change in a society or organization. Although it has been around for a long time, many people do not know what it is and how to identify it in practice. Transformational leadership was first popularized in the 1970s by James MacGregor Burns when he tried to contrast its significance with transactional leadership.

Burns argues that transactional leadership doesn’t care as much about cultural change as the organization’s bottom line. On the other hand, transformational leaders don’t just move people toward a worthy cause by mere influence. They cause an actual change in how things have been in the society or the organization over a set period. So, they are not just influencers, as you would naturally think of a leader. They are agents of change that cause a significant shift in how organizations or societies operate. A transformational leader’s ultimate goal is to significantly alter people’s behavior, resulting in societal or organizational development.
You will agree that finding leaders in different spheres of man’s endeavor is more accessible today than in previous years, but it is not commonplace to find transformational leaders. However, in locating a transformational leader, I want to introduce you to two inseparable sides of a transformational leader. They are what I call “the two sides of a coin of a transformational leader.”

If any man or woman tells you that he/she is a transformational leader and you can’t find these primary core values in his/her life, then such an individual is not a transformational leader. In any way you want to uncover a transformational leader, these essential core values always have to be present. They are:

  • Reliability
  • The Precision of the Destination

Come to think of it, who wants to follow an unreliable leader? For a transformational leader to excel, he must be a trustworthy individual. Trustworthiness is key to the success of such an acclaimed leader. There are different ways we can think of a reliable leader. Depending on your own choice of words. Here are the additional synonyms to consider:

  • Dependable
  • Honest
  • Honorable
  • Worthy of trust
  • Full of integrity
  • Credible
  • Authentic
  • Believable
  • Ethical
  • Steadfast
  • Convincing
  • Unchanging.

Amazingly, a historian, Jennifer Gamble Theard, penned this about the North Star.

“North Star is the anchor of the northern sky. It is a landmark, or sky marker, that helps those who follow it determine direction as it glows brightly to guide and lead towards a purposeful destination.”

Theard writes further about the symbolism of the North Star to the African Americans, which indicates freedom. In her article, The North Star: A symbol of Inspiration and hope, she states that when enslaved people from the southern part of the country sought freedom from their captors, they anchor their hope on the North Star.

The purpose was to give them the direction of where to connect to the underground Railroad headed to the northern part of the country. At the underground Railroad, escaped enslaved people could connect with various forms of help such as transportation, secret routes, and safe housing along the way. These are the sort of things that happen when a transformational leader helps people to chart a course. The people experience fulfillment and inner satisfaction as they proceed on the journey. So, let’s make a case for this and then dive into what that looks like right away in the next paragraph.


Every team member wants to follow leaders who embody all the qualities above. You don’t want your leader to be unstable and pretentious. Some leaders are like fake it until you make it kind of leaders. But I know you do not desire such leaders to be your heroes. You want a respectable leader who will be a complete package of a faultless leader. My point, therefore, is that you always want a leader worthy of your trust—a leader who will remain unchanged in his character and positive attitude during difficult times.

Trustworthiness is the true North Star of a transformational leader that provides the moral compass for their destination.

Every team member wants to be led by a leader who accurately knows where they are going. Transformational leaders understand the end of a cause right from the beginning. Team members want to thrust their lives upon him to help them chart the course. Another way I have chosen to express this is to call it the Law of the Compass. Dr. John C. Maxwell, in his book 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership, calls it the Law of Navigation. Transformational leader helps to navigate the way forward for society, organizations, or team members. They are a sort of pathfinder for the people and a trailblazer. They take people to where they have been in their imagination.

To succeed in his endeavor, a transformational leader must possess accurate knowledge and precision of where he’s leading the people if he must win their respect and loyalty. To sum it up, a transformational leader ;

  • must have a vision with correctness and definiteness.
  • achieves preciseness by being meticulous.

Meticulousness means he plans his leadership journey with comprehensive details of the step-by-step route he needs to take. What else can I say more about a transformational leader? Perhaps you are the next transformational leader we have been waiting for to change our world. Why not step up and take your place? The whole earth has been groaning until now. I encourage you to step up and stand out! Stand for justice and stand out for what is right!

I will conclude by saying that trustworthiness and precision of destination are the two inseparable requirements for being a good guide or a leader who hopes to transform society. Finally, let me invite all would-be transformational leaders to join our movement by undergoing a personal leadership journey for neighborhood transformation in a Transformative Roundtable Conversation. My fellow faculty members and I will be available to lead this conversation.

We have an Eighteen-sessions transformational journey held in a small group of 8- 12 participants, meeting for one to two hours each session. The varying topics we are going to be considering are:

Module One – Personal Leadership Development

1.) Vocational Leadership

2.) Personal Leadership

3.) Transforming Your Leadership

4.) Twelve Indisputable Core Values of a Transformational Leader

Module Two – Effective and Efficient Leadership

1.) Creative Leadership

2.) Innovative Leadership

3.) Strategic Leadership

4.) Adaptive Leadership

Module Three – The Art & Science of Leadership

1.) John P. Kotter Change Process – a Survival Experience of Walker Center in Times of Crisis (Review Case Study).

2.) A Review of Robert Quinn’s Book Deep Change

3.) Complete Analysis of the Case Study on Leadership in a Time of Change

4.) The Fundamental Core Values of the School of Transformational Leadership

Module Four – Becoming a Growth-Oriented Leader

1.) The Attitude and Footprint of a Growth-Minded Leader

2.) Intentional Growth Adventure from Humble Start

3.) Personal Capacity Development and Effectiveness Through a Growth Plan

4.) Everyday Personal Rules for Exponential Growth

Module Five – Emergent Leadership

1.) Understanding the Concept of Citizenship

2.) A Call to Transform the Neighborhood

3.) The Mandate to Multiply Leadership

4.) Articulating Roadmap for Nation Building in Sub-Saharan Africa

Watch out in the next couple of weeks or maybe months as we put the final touches on the programs we want to offer through our School of Transformational Leadership training organization. You can also join our creative writers’ team by writing regularly on our online resource platform Africana Leadership Digest.

Kindly send all your inquiries to for further discussion.

Olusegun Osineye
Author: Olusegun Osineye

Olusegun Osineye earned his Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Transformational Leadership from Boston University. He's passionate about creatively adding value to the black race by utilizing life's simple philosophy for their flourishing.

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