In order to be an effective leader, one must know how to navigate through different types of leadership styles. Two common leadership styles are ethical leadership and transformational leadership. Although both have their own strengths and weaknesses, it is important for founders and leaders to understand the key differences between the two in order to determine which style would be most appropriate for them and their organization. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between ethical leadership and transformational leadership, as well as their respective pros and cons. We hope that this information will help founders make the best decision for themselves and their team when it comes to choosing a leadership style.
What is ethical leadership and what is transformational leadership?
Ethical leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on being fair, just, and morally correct in all business practices. Transformational leadership is a type of leadership that encourages positive change in individuals and organizations.
Both ethical and transformational leaders are concerned with the well-being of those they lead, but transformational leaders are more likely to take risks and challenge the status quo.
Key differences between ethical leadership and transformational leadership
There are a few key differences between ethical leadership and transformational leadership:
- Ethical leadership is more focused on the morality of the leader’s actions, while transformational leadership is more concerned with inspiring others and achieving results.
- Transformational leaders are also more likely to take risks and be innovative, while ethical leaders tend to be more cautious and follow established norms.
- Ethical leadership is based on the leader’s personal moral code, while transformational leadership is based on a shared vision and motivating others to achieve it.
- Ethical leaders may use their power to influence others in morally positive ways, such as by promoting honesty or encouraging charitable work. Transformational leaders, on the other hand, may use their power to challenge others to think outside the box and take risks to achieve something greater.
- Ethical leadership is focused on the leader’s personal integrity, while transformational leadership is focused on the leader’s ability to inspire others.
- Ethical leaders are typically more concerned with being fair and just, while transformational leaders are more concerned with achieving results.
Transformational leadership is a newer theory than ethical leadership, and it has been found to be more effective in achieving results. Transformational leaders are more likely to be successful in motivating others and achieving objectives. Ethical leadership is still important, however, as it provides a foundation of morality for the leader’s actions.
Pros of ethical leadership over transformational leadership
There are several key advantages that ethical leadership has over transformational leadership:
- Ethical leaders tend to be more effective at communicating with their followers. They are able to clearly articulate their vision and values, and inspire others to buy into them.
- Ethical leaders tend to be more consistent in their behavior. Their actions always align with their words, which builds trust and credibility over time.
- Ethical leaders create a positive work environment. They foster a culture of respect and cooperation, and make sure that everyone feels like they are part of the team.
- Ethical leaders are better equipped to handle difficult situations. When faced with a crisis, they always put the needs of others first and make decisions based on what is morally right, rather than what is politically expedient.
Cons of ethical leadership compared to transformational leadership
There are several key disadvantages of ethical leadership compared to transformational leadership:
- Ethical leaders may be less effective at motivating and inspiring employees than transformational leaders. Transformational leaders are able to tap into employees’ higher-level needs and aspirations, whereas ethical leaders typically focus on more tangible rewards. This can make it more difficult for ethical leaders to engage and motivate employees.
- Ethical leaders may be less likely to take risks or innovate than transformational leaders. This is because they tend to focus on following established rules and procedures rather than thinking outside the box.
- Ethical leaders may have difficulty building trust with employees due to their focus on compliance and control. While these qualities are important in some situations, they can make it difficult for ethical leaders to establish the rapport and trust necessary for effective leadership.
Pros of transformational leadership over ethical leadership
- The most significant advantage of transformational leadership over ethical leadership is that the former offers a more comprehensive and effective approach to managing people and resources.
- Transformational leaders are able to motivate and inspire their followers to achieve collective goals, whereas ethical leaders tend to focus more on individual morality and ethics.
- Transformational leaders are also better equipped to deal with complex situations and problems, as they are able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
- Transformational leaders typically have a better understanding of human behavior and are thus able to more effectively manage and lead people.
Cons of transformational leadership compared to ethical leadership
Transformational leadership has been shown to be more effective than ethical leadership in a number of ways. First, transformational leaders are more likely to produce results that last over time. This is because they focus on making long-term changes rather than simply getting the job done in the short term. Second, transformational leaders are more likely to inspire their followers to achieve their goals. This is because they provide a clear vision and purpose that followers can believe in. Finally, transformational leaders are more likely to develop strong relationships with their followers. This is because they emphasize communication and mutual respect.
However, there are some potential drawbacks to transformational leadership as well:
- It can be difficult to maintain trust and commitment from followers if the leader is constantly changing direction.
- Followers may become resentful if they feel that the leader is not giving them enough credit for their accomplishments.
- Transformational leaders may become too focused on their own vision and goals, which can lead to them neglecting the needs of their followers.
Situations when ethical leadership is better than transformational leadership
There are times when ethical leadership is better than transformational leadership:
- One such time is when the goal is to gain employee trust and respect. This can be accomplished by setting the example and behaving in an ethical manner, which will inspire employees to do the same.
- Ethical leadership may be more effective than transformational leadership in situations where there is already a great deal of mistrust or negativity among employees. In these cases, it may be necessary for the leader to work harder to build trust and respect from scratch.
- Ethical leadership can also be helpful when organizational members are highly individualistic and resistant to change. In these situations, it may be necessary for the leader to focus on personal relationships and developing trust before attempting any transformative changes.
Situations when transformational leadership is better than ethical leadership
There are many different types of leadership styles that people can adopt, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Two of the more popular leadership styles are ethical leadership and transformational leadership. While both styles can be effective in certain situations, there are also times when one style may be better than the other.
Transformational leadership is a style that emphasizes motivating and inspiring employees to achieve common goals. This type of leader is typically very charismatic and is able to get people to buy into their vision. Transformational leaders are also often very good at communicating their goals and expectations to their team.
- One situation where transformational leadership may be better than ethical leadership is when there is a need for change or upheaval within an organization. A transformational leader can be more successful in driving the necessary changes.
- In highly competitive industries or during times of crisis, a transformational leader may be better equipped to make the tough decisions needed to maintain organizational success.
- If an organization is facing some challenges or is in a period of transition, a transformational leader may be better suited to help guide them through this time. This is because transformational leaders are typically very good at motivating people and helping them see the importance of change.
- When there is a need for innovation within an organization. Transformational leaders are often very good at encouraging creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. This can be extremely beneficial in an environment where new ideas are needed in order to achieve success.
Ethical leadership vs transformational leadership summary
So, what is the difference between transformational and ethical leadership? The main difference between these two types of leadership can be summed up in one word: ethics. Transformational leaders are more focused on achieving goals and outcomes, whereas ethical leaders are more focused on doing what is right for people and organizations.
There are pros and cons to both types of leadership, but which type of leader you should be depends on the situation and your own personal values. If you want to create a company or organization that is based on strong ethical principles, then ethical leadership may be the better choice for you. But if you want to achieve great things and inspire others to do their best, then transformational leadership may be the better choice.
Whichever type of leader you choose to be, always remember that it’s important to stay true to your own values and make decisions based on what you believe is right. Have you tried using either transformational or ethical leadership in your business? Let us know how it went in the comments below!