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Charismatic vs. Transformational Leadership


Communication refers to the conveyance of information and its meaning from the source to the recipient. The ideal process occurs when both parties interpret the message and understand it from a similar perspective. In headship, communication is often used to influence others to perform a specific task. As such, people in positions are required to have good interpersonal skills to relay the information effectively. This essay aims to determine the application of charismatic and transformational leadership skills in the management processes.

Charismatic vs. Transformational Leadership

Charismatic leadership is the ability to apply dominance, strong convictions, and confidence to make people follow the leader’s vision. One of the major features of a charismatic manager is making a clear message. As an executive, the principal often has extraordinary communication skills which enable them to articulate their vision for the rest to track. Such leaders are expected to talk while aiming at the audience.

In the Ranch Golf Club (The Ranch) case, charismatic leadership was demonstrated through the coach’s commitments and convictions to the team’s course. The coach exercised the guidance style by painting a clear vision of the team’s future. The entire episode was also characterized by the team’s maturity, the coach’s humility, and confidence in the entire club. Ranch’s management applied communication in reinforcing and monitoring performance standards while sharing information (Lussier & Achua, 2015). The use of these features resulted in the provocation of strong emotions that led to superior performance delivery.

Similarly, transformational leadership as an approach in management includes the use of empathy, inspiration, and rapport to hold a group. In the Ranch, charisma can be seen in the ability of Peter to motivate the investors and change them into essential units of the organization. As a leader, Peter could fashion an inspirational vision of the organization’s future (Lussier & Achua, 2015). The ability to be a transformational principal was also partly achieved by the ability to listen the needs of the players and the shareholders.

As such, the Ranch management was able to find and motivate stakeholders to buy into the idea to deliver the vision. Through such engagements, transformational leadership enables managers to achieve its vision (Lussier & Achua, 2015). The guidance was equally portrayed by creating a strong and trust-based relationship with all stakeholders of the Ranch. Through effective communication, information sharing with the relevant people led to the club’s total transformation as was envisioned prior. As such, the Ranch’s leadership used a blend of charismatic and transformational leadership skills to achieve the firm’s success.

Transformational Leadership

As a theory, transformational approach requires the leader to joins hands in working with teams to identify the needed change. The manager then creates a common vision that guides the process by using inspiration and then executing the change with the committed group members (Lussier & Achua, 2015). In this section, the paper focuses on transformational leadership practiced by Oprah Winfrey as a case study.

A transformational director earns his reputation through accomplishments and not words alone. The leader portrays the reputation to change, move, and turn organizational performance around. Additionally, the administrator often has the power and ability to articulate and communicate an inspiring vision of future outcomes to their followers. Such management skill is often instilled by making stronger desire and ideals for change into their groups (Li et al., 2019). Their priority is to transform an ordinary organization into a robust one by influencing supporters to adopt new possibilities and visions.

In the case of Oprah Winfrey and Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Oprah Winfrey can be considered as a transformation leader. The case reveals that, through her hard work and leadership abilities, Oprah has risen to be one of the most revered media personalities. From a poor background characterized by sexual abuse, the TV star rose to become one of the formidable forces in the communication industry (Li et al., 2019). Oprah managed to influence her followers to adopt her vision of becoming the best performer in the media industry.

A transformational leader is capable of taking risks of transforming a poorly performing organization into a profitable one. Such ability is evident when Oprah teamed up with Discovery Channel in 2008 to start OWN. Despite of the organization’s poor performance in the early stages, Oprah managed to transform the organization to profitability by 2013(Li et al., 2019). The ability to turnaround an average business into a thriving one calls for one to have the capacity to transform the vision of the entire enterprise.

In one of her interviews, Oprah posits that her vision is to change American viewership and perceptions by offering high-quality content. The visualization was well communicated to earn the trust, respect, and commitment of supporters. The approach enabled the collective ‘buy-in’ of the vision by a wider audience across America. The communication style enabled her followers to willingly spend exceptional efforts leading to the organization’s success (Li et al., 2019). Additionally, as a transformational leader, Oprah has managed to maintain enterprise stability through social exchanges, resulting in achieving specific organizational goals.


Both charismatic and transformational leadership often share special types of similarities. However, their main differences are based on their focus on the audience. The application of charismatic and transformational control skills in the management processes entails improvement of the status quo and focusing on changing organizational vision. In management, both charismatic and transformational leadership entail the use of charming and compelling personalities as well as intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation to influence followers.


Li, H., Sajjad, N., Wang, Q., Muhammad Ali, A., Khaqan, Z., & Amina, S. (2019). Influence of transformational leadership on employees’ innovative work behavior in sustainable organizations: Test of mediation and moderation processes. Sustainability, 11(6), 1594. Web.

Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2015). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.

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