This model has been around for about 20 years. It evolved as part of the transition from typical 'management tell people how to do things' to 'how can we inspire and engage people through our leadership'.
The model has four zones, which we explore further here:
This is built on the premise that people need to be connected to a purpose, so their inspirational motivation comes from the leader(s) espousing and living the purpose, vision, mission and values of the organisation. The leaders bring the vision close to the people and help drive people to take the necessary action to meet the vision through purposeful contribution.
When people are limited to the constraints of 'this is how we do things around here', it limits growth, innovation and creativity. This part of transformational leadership involved creating opportunities and environments for a novel, new, exciting and experimental activities and ideas to grow. Safe learning zones and fail fast environments are excellent example of this in action.
This is the zone where leaders genuinely live their values; they inspire others by taking action, which builds trust in their followers and demonstrates respect to peers, direct reports, and leaders alike. They apply a type of servant leadership in ensuring they serve the people who follow them, putting their efforts into creating the environment and conditions for people to thrive.
An extension of idealised influence, leaders know how to individualise their leadership to tap into the potential of people to help them thrive, solve problems (be empowered) and create solutions that ultimately deliver towards the purpose and vision of the organisation. A leader both coaches and mentors to bring an individual's talent, skills, behaviours and abilities to the fore.
Deploying this model, it's easy to see how it's got the name transformational. It bucks the trend of traditional leadership models and combines critical areas of leadership that we know makes for success in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous).