JLBC CADET CORPS Leadership Skills & Theories
Transactional leadership works best in transparent, vertical chains of command. The leader, often through a contract, provides precise detail on what the follower is supposed to do, and the follower is responsible for completing assigned tasks. The follower is considered at fault if they don't do what was agreed on and is punished for the failure. If the follower succeeds, they are rewarded. Transactional leaders use positive and negative reinforcement to motivate followers to do what's necessary to get the job done.
Transactional leadership is often broken into two parts: Management by Exception and Contingent Reward.
The contingent reward provides rewards for effort and recognizes good performance. They link the goal to tips, clarify expectations, provide resources, set mutually agreed upon goals, and offer rewards for successful implementation. They set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) plans for their subordinates, measure the results, and reward or punish performance.
Management, by exception, maintains the status quo, intervenes when subordinates do not meet acceptable performance levels, and initiate corrective action to improve performance. Active management-by-exception means that the leader continually looks at each subordinate's performance and changes the subordinate's work to make corrections throughout the process. Passive management-by-exception leaders wait for issues to come up before fixing the problems. They intervene when standards aren't met.
Transactional leaders or managers set goals for their organization and lay out what is expected of followers. They are better at improving the system through efficiency, not changing the system, and they focus on increased productivity. They are directive and action-oriented. They work within existing systems and solve problems conventionally.