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How routine and procedure create and enable effective operations

Transactional Leadership
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Leadership profiles

The transactional leader is one that believes in supervision, organization and increasing the efficiency of established routines and procedures.

Also referred to as bureaucratic leadership, this leader is focused on employee compliance through reward and punishment. Their team must earn the leaders respect and favor, and the leader is often seeking out any of those that deviate from the rules or the plan. They are not looking to change the future but maintain the status quo, so are not flexible or creative but rather following the rules.

A transactional leader is ideal in operational and highly consistent roles, such as retail banking, civil service, or competitive coaching, e.g. athletics.

What does a higher score mean?

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You are a highly transactional leader, with very high conscientiousness and lower agreeableness. You believe your hard work and commitment speaks for itself, and believe your in rules, processes, and your team showing up and delivering.

What does a lower score mean?

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You are not suited to the inflexibility of transactional leadership. You have a desire for openness and innovation, more so than as required for a purely operational and process driven role.

To nurture your Transactional Leadership:

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Take on operational roles, and understand the processes, rules, and KPIs as required by the role or your management responsibility. Ensure that the team below you has lower intellectual desire and creativity, like you, so you are not bored by the perceived monotony and consistency required in a transactional team role.

Use this checklist for self-evaluation

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  • Are you in an operational role?
  • Do you like following rules and processes?
  • Do you like clear guidelines for success vs. failure?
  • Do you like to reward teams based on tangible goals achieved?
  • Do you believe actions speak louder than words?

Examples of Transactional Leaders:


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I often reflect on my thoughts

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I do not often think about the way I am feeling

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I enjoy exploring my “inner self"

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I often reflect on my feelings

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Others would benefit from reflecting more on their thoughts

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I am interested in analysing the behaviour of others

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I value opportunities to evaluate my behaviour

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It is important to understand why people behave in the way they do

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When I’m feeling uncomfortable, I can easily name these feelings

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I usually know why I am feeling the way I do

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I am often on auto-pilot and do not pay much attention to what I am doing

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Sometimes I am careless because I am preoccupied, with many things on my mind

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I often dwell on the past or the future, rather than the present

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My mind often wanders when I am trying to concentrate

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I often find myself thinking about how to solve past negative events

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When things go wrong, I often think about them constructively for long periods of time

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I tend not to look back and think about how I could have done things better

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